16 Sep 2011
BenRiach 1976 (cask #6942)
Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in BenRiach
At the end of August, together with the six new GlenDronach single casks, BenRiach launched its 8th batch of single casks, twelve in total ranging from a 40yo 1971 to an 18yo 1993.
Eight of them were finished, two were peated. The oldest casks were classic Speyside style, like this BenRiach 1976 cask #6942. Always a highly anticipated vintage for this distillery.
BenRiach 34 yo 1976 (57,8%, OB 2011, butt #6942, 469 btl.)
This one has a more tawny colour than most 1976’s. I reckon it was a sherry cask? Nose: indeed not the classic 1976 (tropical) fruitiness. More polished oak to begin with. Cedar wood. Leather and some wax. Tobacco. Then the fruit comes out. A lot of juicy plums and raisins. Black cherries. Pastry with apricot marmalade. Whiffs of eucalyptus. A little pepper and cinnamon. Subtle roasted almonds and hazelnuts, maybe even traces of peat smoke? Very faint turpentine. It needs some time but it’s certainly high-class. Mouth: snappy, with roasted nuts again and dried fruits. Quite some spices (cinnamon and nutmeg), herbs and wood. Hints of orange marmalade and Christmas cake. Cherry brandy. Mango? Dark chocolate. Works well, juicy enough and none of the components gets too loud. Finish: drier now, balancing between dried fruits, grapefruit and spices.
This BenRiach 1976 requires a totally different point-of-view than the legendary tropical versions. Then again it’s a pretty great example of its sherry style. Around € 230 – already hard to find.