The second cask that was bottled for The Whisky Fair. Slightly higher strength, significantly higher out-turn. Let’s see how it compares to the BenRiach 1976 cask 3550.
BenRiach 33yo 1976 (47,4%, OB for The Whisky Fair 2009, hogshead cask #3558, 162 btl.)
Nose: interesting how similar casks can play in the same league and still bring lots of differences. Vanilla is the key to this one, the fruit is sweeter and less tropical. At the same time, a bit more wood and more expressive notes of menthol. Vanilla again, fruit cake. More wood influence, which makes it a tad nuttier, “darker” and warmer. Less tangerine, less grapefruit. Hints of ginger.
Mouth: now it gets taken over by the grapefruit, just like the #3550. Still a bit more vanilla and toffee. Spicier and more powerful, I would say. Pepper and ginger.
Finish: slightly dry and minty. Grapefruit as well, you guessed it.
Well, difficult. Most other reviewers seem to prefer the BenRiach #3550. I must say I like both but the #3558 contains less dominant grapefruit and adds lovely vanilla which make it stand out a bit. The #3550 lacks a bit of punch as well (it seems younger, although that’s a ridiculous way of discribing it). Around € 190 (sold out).