Tasting: Benromach Sassicaia Wood Finish 2004-2013

Benromach Sassicaia Finish 2004 - 2013Dram data:
Distillery: Benromach
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: 2004
Bottled: 10.2013
Age: 8-9 years
Limitation: 3600 bottles
Casks: 18 months Sassicaia finish
Alcohol: 45%
Probably chill filtered; natural colour
Whiskybase link (where you can also find my initial tasting notes on this dram from a year ago 😉 )

Tasting notes:
Colour:
Copper
The nose opens with a hint of light, fragrant campfire smoke paired with a summer fruit sweetness which begs to be investigated further. There are raisins, plums, peaches, dried apricots, kiwi, tinned preserved fruits on glucose syrup and Demerara sugar. The wine influence is noticeable – underneath it all is a slight fruity red wine note with tannins. On top of that are hints of orange peel and -juice. The palate isn’t quite as sweet as the nose suggested, it’s more on the dry side showing the influence of the wine cask, quite possibly made of european oak. Honey sweetness, dry tannins, grape skins, medium-dry desert wine, a hint of custard, pepper, allspice, green kiwi, pineapple. A hint of smoke is to be detected. The medium long finish is equally dry, slightly smoky with notes of spices, tannins, citrus kernels, diluted red wine and vanilla.

Verdict:
18 months in a wine cask is quite a bit more than “just” a finish, it borders on a second maturation. Thus it isn’t surprising to find many flavour components derived from the red wine and active oak casks mixed into the slightly peaty, initially ex-bourbon matured Benromach spirit. It’s not the most complex dram, especially as far as taste and finish are concerned, but it does work very well for hot summer evenings, which is where I consumed most of my bottle.

Score: 83/100
(Nose: 85 Palate: 81 Finish: 82)

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