Not many people know the single cask BenRiach 1970 (Pedro Ximenez finish) that was released last year. I was a big fan though, and I’m eager to try this younger sister cask.
BenRiach 33 yo 1977 (52,2%, OB 2010,
cask #1033, Pedro Ximénez finish, 331 btl.)
Nose: heavy sherry! Raisins with a chocolate coating. Strawberries and red berries with cocoa powder. A light beefiness (ham) and hints of oak polish. Sweet tobacco. Let’s try water. Hmm, that doesn’t change much.
Mouth: very punchy. Cherry liqueur, some rancio. Figs. Spiced bitter chocolate (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves). Growing more herbal (a little resin and mint). A bit of orange liqueur. Quite fruity although there’s a tannic, dry oaky side to it as well. Maybe a little more winey than its GlenDronach siblings. Adding water highlights the herbal side but helps to balance the oak.
Finish: a little drier, but still very rich. Blackcurrant marmalade and spices.
This kind of heavy sherry expression eliminates the boundaries between BenRiach and GlenDronach almost completely. This could have easily been produced at GlenDronach. As such it is less unique than the 1970 PX, but it’s certainly recommended. Around € 240.