Thanks to /u/devoz for sharing a dram of this with me.
Okay, I think I’ve said this too many times. Feel free to comment if you feel otherwise.
I enjoy BenRiach. A lot. I’ve had quite a few of their single cask offerings. I enjoy odd finishes. I used to think Madeira was a wine I didn’t like, turns out that was Marsala. I prefer BenRiach peated. I have feelings and thoughts about Rachel Barrie’s joining the company based on her previous experience with other companies in how she ensures higher profits while lowering costs.
So when offered BenRiach 15 1997 Single Cask Madeira Finish, I accept it like we all accept the beauty of the universe into our hearts through different means. It truly is a beautiful world.
Opps, maybe the drugs kicked in. Let’s see how the whisky tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Bottle No. 82 of 316
Cask No. 2591
Aged: 15 years
Date of Bottling: Aug/12
Cask Type: Madeira Barrel
Colour: 2.5Y 8/10
Nose: Pineapple coconut cake, brown butter, peach juice, metallic
Initial nose is nothing but pineapple coconut cake. It’s big, it’s there, and you’ll swear you were in an Asian bakery.
Or really any bakery that serves the different ways that pineapple coconut cake are served, though frankly I live in an Asian part of Toronto, so that’s what I’m used to.
Takes some time to get past that. It’s an odd thing. It’s unbalanced, however it’s unbalanced with a complex note that’s bonkers. So… yay? It’s like winning a year’s worth of hot dogs. You have food for a year, which is good, however it’s nothing but hot dogs. Not that a pineapple cake is equivalent to a hot dog. I mean, at least with one it has protein.
I’m rambling. Let’s move on.
Taste: Heather, pineapple, butter, Smarties, sugar coated doughnuts
Floral, pineapple, and then very sweet. Like a super sweetness. Going to say they used a sweet Madeira as well.
This may be too much for some people. It’s developed, but still quite sweet.
Finish: Lots of pepper, almond, milk, floral, earth
Wow that peppery finish. Like everything was going on this whole sweets train, which as someone who is training for Diabetes, I enjoy, and then… big ole pepper bomb. Lots and lots of it.
Slightly creamy, and then pepper. Not a bad finish, just not a great one for a sweet dram.
Conclusion: So this is a pineapple cake. Well, for 2/3rds of the dram, it is. And then it’s a ton of earth and heat. I enjoyed it, but I love sweets. And I really liked the strong nose.
That said, wow this is an interesting one. I can’t say it’s a must buy, but it’s a must try. It doesn’t taste like a 15 year old whisky at all. It has elements of younger ones with strength and older ones with complexity.
And then a disjoint finish. So that’s sad, but can’t have it all. Try this one.
Scotch review #761, Speyside review #216, Whisky Network review #1259