Single malt whisky - tasting notes

27 Aug 2012

BenRiach 1996 (Caskstrength.net)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: BenRiach

Joel and Neil, the two guys running Caskstrength.net, are on a mission to bottle an A-Z of whisky. Their first bottling was an Arran 1998 and the second one, a BenRiach 1996, has just been released.

The spirit has been maturing in a bourbon hogshead until 2008, when it was transferred into a Pedro Ximénez cask. It’s bottled with a nice variation on the official label, and available exclusively from Master of Malt. They’ve sold almost half of the stock in less than a week so don’t wait too long if you’re interested.

 

BenRiach 16yo 1996 CaskstrengthBenRiach 16 yo 1996
(55,2%, OB for Caskstrength.net, PX sherry hogshead #5614, 296 btl.)

Nose: starts in a bourbonny way (I mean actual bourbon whiskey, not just the cask type) with fresh oak and Demerara sugar sweetness. Evolves on toffee and vanilla fudge. After a while lots of red currant, raisin and strawberry notes. Clearly finished, but in a very nice way. Soft spices. Mouth: easy-going and fruity (berries again, grape juice, oranges). A little candy sugar. Then the same fresh oak and spices from the nose. Toffee. Some leather and mint. Gets a little fragrant and vinous at times but it never crosses the line. Finish: medium long, drier, with some liquorice alongside some salted caramel.

It’s definitely finished, but it has been taken out of the cask at the right moment. A unique and very enjoyable mix of sherry and bourbon elements. Nice selection. Around € 70.

Score: 88/100

BenRiach 1996 (Caskstrength.net) 4 Ruben Luyten 2012-08-27
  • http://www.whiskyisrael.co.il Gal(WhiskyIsrael)

    Just had a go at it. really lovely stuff, with a nice mix of the bourbon and sherry goodness. the best of both. unusual benriach!

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  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1600 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.