BenRiach 16 Sauternes

BenRiach 16 Sauternes 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/throzen for the sample.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: My bias should be known by everyone who reads my reviews. And if you know nothing more from this review, you should know two of my current biases:

1) I feel Sauternes casks should only be used for long periods of time with whiskies that have themselves been in ex-bourbon casks for long periods of times (or in blends otherwise)

2) I love BenRiach quite a lot

There you have it. I’m not perfect and able to hold those out. I am, in fact, human, and not some kind of robot who drinks and types. I swear. Totally a human.

Thus how should I react to BenRiach 16 Sauternes? It’s a BenRiach, so I’m enamoured with it. However it’s a young whisky that was just finished in ex-Chateau D’Yquem Sauternes casks.

So I’m torn. It’s also in one of my books that recommend whiskies. Thus I must try it. Otherwise I’m just yelling into the void, like all the other people on the internet.

Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?

BenRiach 16 Sauternes 1.jpg

Price: N/A at the LCBO

Region: Speyside

Cask Type: Chateau D’Yquem Sauternes

Bottled: 2008

Number of Bottles: 1686

Abv: 46%

Colour: 10YR 5/6

Nose: Chestnut, raisin, caramel, mossy, lemon cake, orange

Nuttiness and raisin. Not surprising with the wine cask used. Some citrus given time.

I’m actually happy about how the citrus has mixed with the vanilla from the ex-bourbon cask. It’s developed nicely.

Hey, maybe one bias will beat the other.

Taste: Sultanas, cocktail onion/onion, lime juice


Raisins, an earth element and some sulphur pain. It’s gone down a level. I want more. This is too simple.

Finish: Sultanas, red grape, caramel, green onion, cinnamon

Sweeter than the taste, and more complex. Has some more to the acidity and finally some spice.

Which reminds you what this was missing the whole time.

Conclusion: Alright, everything on the table folks: I prefer peated BenRiach. And I also think their non-peated versions need that big flavour to balance.

The lack of spice here is the problem. I want more. It tastes like there was a lot of time and effort put in here, and then… it missing out. It’s earthy and sulphuric. I’m not the biggest fan of it. It reinforces my thoughts on the cask. I’d skip, or try before you buy.


Scotch review #748, Speyside review #208, Whisky Network review #1233

1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die review #346

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