24 drams till Christmas tasting #11: Benriach 12 yo

Benriach 12 yoDram data:
Distillery: Benriach
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015
Age: 12 years
Limitation: –
Casks: Oloroso and PX
Alcohol: 46%
unchillfiltered; natural colour
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
dark honey
The label says “matured in sherry wood” and the nose agrees! Medium intensity, rather dry sherry notes (dry-ish Oloroso?) meet red fruits (cherries, plums), oranges with zest, raisins (+sweetness), caramelised ginger, and mixed spices – allspice, cinnamon and cloves. The palate is mouth-coating and oily on the arrival, quite a bit sweeter than the nose, that’s the ex-PX sherry casks in the mix talking. A diluted dark fruit puree of dried cherries, plums and figs meets raisins, milk chocolate, coffee, chocolate-covered toffee and slightly muted spices (allspice and cloves). Very straightforward and enjoyable. The long finish has a slight alcoholic tingle upon swallowing, followed by a nice mix of sweet (dark dried fruits) and dry notes from the Oloroso casks. As time goes on slight spices start to appear.

A classic, medium-young, heavily sherried (but not overdone) Speyside dram and in this case an unpeated version of Benriach. Nice mixture of sweet and dry notes with spices – it’s hard to find a fault. Of course you won’t find the extreme finesse and layered texture of much older Benriachs and there’s no oak notes – but hey, it’s 12 years old, you can’t expect that at this age. An easy, highly quaffable and enjoyable whisky for a good price, not overwhelming for the beginner and yet interesting enough for advanced malt lover. One to keep around the house…

Score: 84/100
(Nose: 83 Palate: 85 Finish: 85)

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