Hey, so sometimes my numbers screw up. And by sometimes, I mean a lot. Seriously, my numbers should be fine.
As such, I reviewed BenRiach 22 1994 Peated Ex-Tokaji (Cask 4004) as what I thought was right before the 750th, and then… well I did some mysteries, I did what I thought, etc.
None the less, I shouldn’t consider this a bad thing. Let’s be honest, we don’t have many Tokaji finished whiskies. And not many 22 year old BenRiachs. My love for Benriachs is showing. Not to mention the giddiness I had for a single cask.
But what is Tokaji? It’s wine made in the Tokaji region in Hungary or in Slovakia. And can be quite sweet, having been infected by noble rot. Tasty fungus that makes things sweeter? Sounds up my alley, given my love of shiitake mushroom.
So we have a single cask, full strength whisky from one of my favourite distilleries. In a cask that’s rare. Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask No. 4004
Cask Type: Ex-bourbon, then finished in Tokaj Hogshead
Number of Bottles: 246
Colour: 10YR 7/8
Nose: Nectarine pudding, mint, freshly cut cedar, fleur du sel caramel
Odd nose on this one. It’s creamy and fruity at the same time. Lovely wood notes too. Strong notes on it.
I’ve heard Hungarian oak is useful in rounding out wine. I think that’s what happened here. Also there’s a lovely salt and caramel note here. Overall nice on the nose.
Taste: Peach pit, spearmint, caramel, lemon pepper, banana
This is missing something for me. It’s woody where there’s sweet notes. It’s sweet somewhere, but not sweet enough.
That’s not to say I think overly sweet is the way to go. I’m just finding this lacking in that area. Nice mint and lemon and earth.
Finish: Smoke/mesquite, anise, mushroom, Tabasco, cocoa/peanut
Wow, nice smoke finish on this one. Oh, yeah, it’s peated. Blanked on that one. Oops. Granted I also swapped away a bunch of bottle and almost forget to drink this, so we’re lucky I can put on pants in the morning, let alone read the fucking name of the whisky.
Spice finish, some vinegar sharp notes. I like the finish here. It’s odd, given… well there wasn’t really much of a peat note. Water opens up more of it on the finish.
Conclusion: Missing a sweet element overall. It would benefit from that being a bit stronger, which is probably why it was put into an ex-Tokaji cask in the first place. Or in second place, who knows. I haven’t seen it run, just the legs.
That’s what keeps you guys coming back, those great lines.
That all said, beyond the missing element, I enjoyed this. It’s a different kind of spearmint peat influence. It’s not going to blow you away until the end. It’s going to be unique in ways some may love, and others may not. I’m glad I didn’t end up with a full bottle. I enjoyed this. Not as much as I thought I would.
But I love overly sweet things, and my fat guy is proof of that. So it may be a good idea to try before you buy on it.
Scotch review #749, Speyside review #210, Whisky Network review #1238