BenRiach has today, 14 August, released the latest batch, its eleventh, of single cask bottlings.
It comprises fourteen superb casks that were bottled in July and all are available as of today, ideal for leisurely summer tasting.
Ranging from 37 to 9 years old, the much-anticipated release demonstrates a hugely eclectic range of expressions for which Elgin’s award-winning BenRiach is renowned, with astonishing variety across the fourteen casks. These include whiskies in the traditional, classic Speyside style, peated expressions and wood finishes such as Dark Rum, Tawny Port, Madeira, Virgin Oak, Pedro Ximenez Sherry and a Marsala wood finish.
All fourteen casks have been hand-selected by BenRiach’s Managing Director and Master Distiller Billy Walker who described them as “absolutely special” and added:
“Wood Management is one of the most important factors in ensuring excellence of quality during maturation. The most important factor is to use top-quality casks – Bourbon barrels, Hogsheads and ex-Wine Seasoned casks - and there is a role in the maturation process for all of these casks. Getting the wood right can be expensive but it’s one of the things I’m most proud of since we took over BenRiach.”
And what an amazing range there is in Batch Eleven.
The oldest, 1976 #529, at 44.2% vol, is Sherry Cask Matured and finished in a Bourbon barrel. Fresh crisp oak and cereal combine with sweet plum syrup, developing to an elegant, soft tropical fruit and toasted coconut finish.
Meanwhile the youngest, 2005 # 3781, at 58.7% vol, a Virgin American Oak Hogshead, offers floods of sweet peat reek in rich caramelised apple and pear, softening gently to dried apricot and desiccated coconut.
And a third which suggests it will be much sought-after is the 1998 cask # 5171, at 57.9% vol, a triple-distilled Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish in which vibrant oak spice, orange bitters and dark chocolate give exceptional depth, with stewed barley and orchard fruits softly rolling though the long, ever-changing palate.
Other expressions in the range boast the taste of “Demerara and boiled sweets”, “luxurious chocolate and roasted coffee beans”, “rich Tarte Tatin” and even “fairground candy apple”.
The cask details are as follows:
1976 cask # 529 / 37 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 44.2% vol.
1976 cask # 5463 / 37 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Peated, Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 51.9% vol.
1977 cask # 7114 / 37 years old / Hogshead / 48.3%vol.
1977 cask # 1891 / 37 years old / Dark Rum Barrel / Dark Rum Finish / 43.2% vol.
1978 cask # 5469 / 36 years old / Bourbon Barrel / Sherry Cask Matured, Bourbon Finish / 41.7% vol.
1984 cask # 488 / 29 years old / Hogshead / Peated / 51.1% vol.
1984 cask # 4051 / 29 years old / Tawny Port Hogshead / Peated, Tawny Port Finish / 50.3% vol.
1994 cask # 1703 / 20 years old / Tawny Port Hogshead / Tawny Port Finish / 55.6% vol.
1994 cask # 5626 / 20 years old / Madeira Hogshead / Peated, Madeira Finish / 53.2% vol.
1996 cask # 7176 / 18 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Finish / 52.4% vol.
1997 cask # 4435 / 16 years old / Marsala Hogshead / Marsala finish / 56.1% vol.
1998 cask # 5171 / 16 years old / Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon / Triple Distilled, Pedro Ximenez Sherry finish / 57.9% vol.
2000 cask # 38131 / 14 years old / Bourbon Barrel / 59.3% vol.
2005 cask # 3781 / 9 years old / Virgin American Oak Hogshead / Peated, Virgin American Oak finish / 58.7% vol.
Keep an eye on our website, www.benriachdistillery.co.uk, and Facebook page over the coming weeks for more information on these new releases, tasting notes and exclusive product photography.