As part of the Toronto Whisky Society, we had a small getogether and drank our fucking faces off.
Like gentlemen and ladies and all that shit, you know? All hosted by one of our members, /u/devoz and his amazing wife.
Each of us brought a bottle to drink. And that was too many. So I understand if you take my reviews with a grain of salt. Or two.
We started, as we all should start, with a questionable whisky of lower proof and reviews that were… iffy.
Thanks to /u/devoz for opening BenRiach Single Cask 1984 (CSN Wine & Spirits).
It’s a special moment when you get to try a store’s pick of a bottle. Assuming they don’t go the route of certain Lazy Ontario Monopolies, it means someone sat back and tried multiple samples, potentially over months, until selecting what they thought best represented their picks.
It’s that kinda dedication that makes me wish I could open a liquor store of my own. I guess I’ll have to hope the laws on weed are more lax.
Because at the end of the day, you are ending up with all the bottles of this dram. You have to be the one to look customers in the eye and tell them how it tastes. And that can’t be easy, because if it tastes like shoes and butt, you have to explain that you really like shoes and butts.
So this is a 27 year old ex-bourbon non-peated BenRiach. Pretty cool. Let’s see how it tastes, shall we?
Oh, wait. Before that, it’s BIAS TIME! My bias is: I typically like my BenRiach’s peated. So take that into consideration with this review.
Price: $199.99 (CAD) at CSN Wine & Spirits, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Cask No: 1114
Bottle No: 158 of 198
Date of Bottling: Aug/12
Age: 27 years
Cask Type: Hogshead
Colour: 2.5Y 7/8
Nose: Sugar cane, boiled potato, rhubarb, chalk, baklava
That’s not what I was expecting. This is unique, that’s for certain. Just don’t know if it’s that good or bad unique. You know, like “Unique like the Unabomber” or “Unique like James Keenan Maynard”.
Taking a step back, this is like if Vodka and Rum had a kid. Who was Greek. And had a sweet tooth.
Taste: Lime, wax, banana, vanilla, blueberry, red licorice, caramel
Strong fruit notes. Some waxiness that apes Clynelish. Is this haiku?
My poetic side took over, sorry about that. Lots of fruit here. Different flavours. None really go together.
Finish: Banana, raspberry, coffee, cocoa, plum, buttered yams, grass
Finishes with more fruit, and some earth notes. We spent a long time debating what one note was. I said buttered yams. Certain people didn’t know what a yam was. We’re all worse off for it.
Lots of earth and sweet notes going on.
Conclusion: Few things: First off, they got one heck of an interesting, unique dram from just using an ex-bourbon cask. Colour me surprised.
That said, for a 27 year old, I was expecting a little bit more. Yes, it’s unique. Do I like it? Not so much. And I should, because the nose is right up my alley. The taste and finish reminds me too much of Clynelish, and I’m not digging it.
That said, my personal thoughts may be horseshit, because even I can say this has an amazing mouthfeel and is unique. This is a no brainer on buy if you enjoy it, even a little bit.
Scotch review #510, Speyside review #152, Whisky Network review #829