There are two Virgin Oak releases (i.e. matured in new casks) in this year’s single casks from BenRiach. This one is a 1991 vintage which was finished in new American oak after the regular ex-bourbon maturation. The other one – a 1980 vintage – was fully matured in Virgin oak.
BenRiach 19 yo 1991 (54,9%, OB 2010, cask #4389, Virgin American Oak finish, 306 btl.)
Nose: nutmeg and orange peel. Tangerine. A few nutty notes and roasted grains. A little ginger, vanilla and heather. Hints of butter toffee and freshly sawn wood as well. No excessive oak though, since it’s only a finish. It seems to follow the BenRiach tradition, only spiced up a bit.
Mouth: initially a sweet attack on fruitcake and toffee. Stewed fruits. Hazelnut paste. A lot of cinnamon and vanilla, with a peppery kick.
Finish: dries out steadily with vanilla and warm oak.
This BenRiach is sweet and really spicy. It amplifies the classic Speyside character. Very punchy yet very drinkable. Around € 85.