Thanks to /u/nsquare14 for sending me some samples. Really appreciate these, as he sent me some I’ve never reviewed as a thank you for the reviews.
Little bit of a rant here, with hopes that someone reads it that can do something.
There’s no such thing as a whisky, from a distillery, that you can buy and, just based on it coming from that distillery, ensure that it’s good.
No shit, right? However with the Port Ellens, Rosebanks, Broras, and the one I’ll be speaking of today, I’d wager that a lot of companies out there really, really hope you assume that.
Benrinnes tastes good from a sherry cask. Yes, there are some exceptions to that rule. There always are. However there’s recently been a large amount of ex-bourbon Benrinnes show up on the market.
Benrinnes 19 1997 Old Malt Cask Hunter Laing (K&L Exclusive) is one such one. Now I’m not saying that this is automatically bad. I’m just seeing a pattern of whiskies that, historically, gather dust.
So there’s my rant. It could, or could not apply to this one. Let’s see how this one tastes, shall we?
Price: $69.99 USD at K&L Wine Merchants
Cask Type: Refill Hogshead
Cask Number: HL 13272
Number of Bottles: 316
Colour: 7.5Y 9/6
Nose: Grass, butter, menthol/tobacco, canned pears
Grassy and buttery. Takes some time, with more menthol coming out.
Kinda wish that there was more pears. Or more fruit. Or maybe some sherry. More than just butter and grass. Which really, if you think about it, butter is just grass that’s gone through a cow and had some stuff done to it.
Taste: Pear syrup, butter, white pepper, honeydew melon, candy
Sweeter, amps up a little bit. The spice is a bit off, especially being hot.
So I know I asked for more fruit, but now it’s missing some of the complexity on the spice.
Finish: Caramel, arugula, lemon-lime soda, hard candy
Finish has a simple sweetness to it. Nice to sip on, citrus spritiness.
This drinks younger than the age. Though it’s missing some element.
Conclusion: So yeah, I wrote the starting part because this is proof of what I was saying before. Anecdotal, at best.
So basically there’s no rough notes. The spice in the taste and finish isn’t well developed, however this is missing some element. Each aspect does something right, and then doesn’t follow it up. It’s the ingredients without the baking.
Scotch review #888, Speyside review #256, Whisky Network review #1419
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