Continuing its journey pushing the boundaries of malt alchemy, BenRiach distillery has released Batch 15 of its cask bottling programme.
BenRiach holds some of the most experimental casks in Speyside, making it uniquely placed to offer a multi-faceted range of casks in both unpeated and Highland peated styles. Each year, Master Blender Rachel Barrie selects a number of distinct casks which celebrate the distillery’s creative distilling and maturation heritage.
Batch 15 includes 17 casks: 11 unpeated and 6 Highland peated – an eclectic mix including port pipes, moscatel hogsheads, sauternes barriques, rum barrels and virgin oak. Each bottle is filled exclusively from one of these individual casks.
Master Blender Rachel Barrie, said:
“Batch 15 provides a rare opportunity to explore the many facets of BenRiach maturation in one batch, something us whisky makers are lucky to do every day. From the sweet side of Marsala wood to the exotic fruity side of Rum and the barbecued smokiness of charred American Virgin oak, there is a cask to suit every whisky lover’s palate. Now’s the time to explore, take your pick and find the cask you most enjoy!”
Depending on the expression the ABV ranges from 53.1% to 61.7%, and is always non-chill filtered and of natural colour.
Europe: Casks 6898, 7859, 7610, 3071, 3236, 5807, 7722, 8731 and 2048 are available in your region.
Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Canada: Casks 7383, 979, 4437, 2682, 5014, 1855, 2406 and 8737 will be available in your region.
1991 Cask #6898 / Aged 26 years / Burgundy Barrique
Appearance: Ruby-tawny gold.
Nose: A wine cellar with red grape must and fragrant armagnac-like top notes on a base of walnut skins and earthy dunnage floors.
Palate: Mellow figs and ripe apricots develop into red grape candy tempered by traces of treacle and butterscotch.
1992 Cask #979 / Aged 25 years / Port Hogshead
Appearance: Tawny brown with gold highlights.
Nose: Honeysuckle and rosehip tea with traces of chamomile, orange blossom and cocoa leaf.
Palate: Nectarine, lemon peel and yellow plum drying out to lingering rooibos, burdock and caraway.
1995 Cask #7383 / Aged 22 years / Peated Oloroso Sherry Butt
Appearance: Deep walnut brown.
Nose: Elegant waxed apple and stewed pear with underlying roast chestnut oil on baked sourdough with a dusting of sugar.
Palate: Roast chestnut and smoked applewood meld with butternut and sage, leaving baked apple pie lingering long on the palate.
1997 Cask #4437 / Aged 20 years / Marsala Hogshead
Appearance: Deep Autumn russet and gold.
Nose: Sweet Valencia orange and peach segments on a cream and biscuit base, smothered in syrupy fruit glaze.
Palate: Peach melba and sweet clementine fruit salad with lingering fresh double cream and toasted almond into the finish.
1997 Cask #7859 / Aged 20 years / Virgin Oak Hogshead
Appearance: Bright orange.
Nose: Candied orange, cherry lips and wine gums with traces of sugared blackberry and sweet caramelised oak.
Palate: Baked pear and sweet fruity oak progress to bramble apple and cherry pie with stone fruit into the finish.
2005 Cask #2682 / Aged 12 years / Peated Port Pipe
Appearance: Walnut ruby.
Nose: Bramble and baked apple pie topped with burnt orange and redcurrant on gentian-infused pastry.
Palate: Baked orange and redcurrant carried by walnut oil leaving liquoric, dark chocolate and tobacco leaf.
2005 Cask #5014 / Aged 12 years / Oloroso Sherry Butt
Appearance: Demerara brown.
Nose: Golden syrup and apple cider with dried apricot and yellow plum skin on buttered brioche with raisin pieces.
Palate: Sherry and raisin with caramelised orange and red apple segments, leaving a treacle and sultana-kissed finish.
2006 Cask #1855 / Aged 11 years / Sauternes Barrique
Appearance: Bright summer gold.
Nose: Lemon curd and manuka honey on toasted granary loaf and toffee apple. Palate: Apple and hazelnut cereal bar bound together by honey and lemon syrup.
2006 Cask #2406 / Aged 11 years / Port Pipe
Appearance: Antique gold.
Nose: Treacle toffee and butterscotch on cherry and blackcurrant fruit jelly, lifted by a fresh breath of eucalyptus.
Palate: Blackcurrant cream dessert in dark chocolate treacle, becoming liquorice and forest fruit into the toasted raisin finish.
2007 Cask #3071 / Aged 10 years / Peated Oloroso Sherry Butt
Appearance: Bright gold.
Nose: Smoky bacon rind and apple in chestnut stuffing with black peppercorn and traces of butterscotch.
Palate: Baked apple and sourdough cake progress into peppered butterscotch lingering into the savoury finish.
2007 Cask #3236 / Aged 10 years / Oloroso Sherry Butt
Appearance: Deep amber – copper.
Nose: Apple and almond frangipane with a twist of orange peel served with crème-brûlée.
Palate: Armagnac appears mid-palate bringing macerated white fruits and plums with ground nutmeg and traces of soft new leather.
2007 Cask #7610 / Aged 11 years / Peated Rum Barrel
Nose: Jamaican rum truffles with cocoa beans, coconut milk and chocolate cake, intermingled with cream and star anise.
Palate: Pina colada with cocoa beans, rum and raisin ice cream and iced cappuccino leaving rum-laced espresso into the finish.
ABV: 59.5% 2007
Cask #7722 / Aged 10 years / Peated Virgin Oak Hogshead
Appearance: Deep orange sunset.
Nose: Barbequed banana and roasted apple coated in dark chocolate and treacle toffee with warm spiced oak.
Palate: Smoked applewood and toasted eucalyptus becoming peppercorn and dried banana, leaving a spicy liquorice and fennel finish.
ABV: 57.1% 2007
Cask #8731 / Aged 10 years / Moscatel Hogshead
Appearance: Sparkling gold.
Nose: Mellow and soft with butterscotch and honey, with the ripe fruitiness of candied grape.
Palate: Sweet and fruity with mouthwatering honey and lemon toddies progressing into a lingering Calvados finish.
2007 Cask #8737 / Aged 10 years / Moscatel Hogshead
Appearance: Golden peach.
Nose: Almond and brandy cake served with luscious poached peaches, icing sugar and cappuccino cream.
Palate: Peach and apple brandy develop mid-palate into sweet candy floss grape, leaving cocoa into the smooth, memorable finish.
2008 Cask #2048 / Aged 9 years / Peated Port Pipe
Appearance: Deep ruby.
Nose: Smoked mint and blackcurrant on a forest campfire of cassia bark and orris root, with hog roast served with bramley apple sauce.
Palate: Grilled red grape smothered in olive oil with smoked angelica and star anise, progressing to a charred apple and maple finish.
2008 Cask #5807 / Aged 10 years / Sauternes Barrique
Appearance: Dark golden syrup.
Nose: A patisserie of honey-glazed apple and baked peach in crème caramel.
Palate: Sweet honeyed peach with coconut cream developing into candy floss and apricot fruit tarts.