Battle of the casks… #101 V #105. 2007 sherry casks..
The next instalment in the BenRiach batch 14 release has me doing a head to head battle with these two Oloroso Sherry matured expressions, both are peated and both laid down in 2007..
First up is cask #105.. Distilled 2007 and bottled 2017 at 10 years of age. Bottled at 62.2% abv..
Nose.. A real mixture of smouldering wood and ripe fruits greet you with burnt sugar and dark chocolate. The smoke mixes well without being too dominant while a subtle herbal undernote is noticeable with some ginger root and hints of dried fruits.
Palate.. You get that bonfire taste instantly.. Smoke and ash mixed with a little dried fruits, citrus and a hint of chocolate..
Finish.. Lasting smoke and fruits.
Cask #101 is again from 2007 and bottled 2017 ( 10 years old ) with an abv of 61.9% and again this is from an Oloroso Sherry cask.
Nose.. Plums, raisins and dates lead this one with chocolate, coffee and subtle smoke, old leather, Black Forest gateau, toffee apples, liquorice and cinder toffee..
Palate.. Soft smoke mingles perfectly with those sherry cask flavours.. Dried fruits, coffee, citrus peels, chocolate and soft spices are all there.
Finish.. long and fruity with a smokey backbone.
Thoughts.. A great example of two similar casks that are worlds apart.. The 101 is certainly more sherry influenced while the 105 has more smoke influence.. It’s hard to pick a favourite but I suppose the 105 just does it for me because it actually feels more balanced with a little more complexity.. The 101 just feels a little more forced in the flavour and although the smoke is a lot more subdued and really should be more up my street as they say it just does not excite quite as much.. Both are great drams and would be welcome in my world..
Thanks go out to BenRiach for these official samples.