Thanks to /u/Boyd86 for this dram.
It’s no secret that I love odd finishes. The weirder, the better. Try something different. Do something different. Try something odd.
We all drink other alcohols (well, probably not, but I’m going to guess most of us do). We all have had something and said “Why did I drink the sweat from a Burmese bongo player?”
Oh… No, probably not. But we have drank something and said “Wow, that’d make a great finish on a whisky”. At least I have. And let’s forget about the bongo player babe, he’s in the past.
Benromach Sassicaia Finish is one of those whiskies. Aged for 9 years in total, 7.5 years was in ex-bourbon, and it was finished for a substantial 18 months in Sassicaia casks.
What’s Sassicaia? I asked that too. I really have no idea how to even pronounce it. It’s a top ranked red wine that’s made in a the Bordeaux style. It’s known as “Super Tuscan” wine. That’s like a superhero.
Let’s see how this tastes. Should be amazing. Or horrible. But at least this will be interesting.
Price: N/A at the LCBO at the moment
Bottled: Oct ’13
Finished in Sassicaia Casks
Colour: 5YR 7/10
Nose: Butterscotch, grass, malt, ginger, pear, floral
Odd. Big butterscotch flavour, spicy, and kinda floral as well. Big malt flavour. More than I was expecting for 45%. Not super complex, however the parts that are in there are unique.
Taste: Peat, chocolate-anise candy from Iceland, tangerine, butter, tropical fruits
Peat? Where the hell did this come from?
One thing: If you ever have the chance to try chocolate and anise mixed together in a Nordic country, do it. The anise is sweeter, and the chocolate pairs well with it. And this tastes like it… with butter and lots of tropical fruits.
Finish: Butter, anise, earth, mace, cereal, malt
The finish is probably the only “let down” in that it’s normal. Like watching monkeys juggling lit torches, then a guy singing into a live fish, and then… well, a bongo player.
Conclusion: I’m not going to say this is balanced, or has anything beyond a really good taste, nice nose, and okay finish. If the finish was the same as the taste and nose, it’d be rated higher. If the nose and taste were like the finish, I’d say this is just an okay dram, probably the same as the 10 year.
I’d say everyone should try this just to try something different.
Scotch review #352, Speyside reviews #99, Whiskey Network review #539