The 16 years old with Sauternes finish is one of the wood finish expressions in the standard BenRiach range. In November 2009, the Belgian whisky shop Pin’Art in Mechelen bottled its own single cask with the same specifications. It was very popular and there are only a few bottles left.
BenRiach 16 yo 1993
(55,6%, OB 2009 for Pin’Art, hogshead – Sauternes finish, cask #2587, 295 btl.)
Nose: starts rather curiously buttery on toffee and nuts. Hints of marzipan. Not as tropical as I thought it would be, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After a while the expected sweet and fruity notes shine through. Grapes, peaches on syrup, soaked raisins, hints of dried figs. A little water brings out Cavaillon melon. Nice balance.
Mouth: thick mouth-feel with a little vanilla. Sugar coated nuts. Quite a refined sweetness although the spices soon take over (pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg). The fruits are pushed aside by the power of the spices. Water doesn’t change this.
Finish: dry and peppery, with lots of spices from the oak.
The combination of the spirit with the Sauternes influence is not at all cloying nor overly sweet. It’s well balanced (although a little on the spicy side) and very enjoyable. Around € 70.
Thanks for the sample, Serge.