Maybe a Pedro Ximénez cask can add a bit of sweetness and make us forget 35 years of oak influence? This is BenRiach 1976 cask #5317, also part of the 9th batch of single casks bottled July 2012.
BenRiach 35 yo 1976 (54,1%, OB 2012, PX sherry finish #5317, 204 btl.)
Nose: nice, still some oak but a more polished type, with whiffs of turpentine (I personally like that). Plenty of plums, raisins and dates. Here the layer of tropical fruits is more noticeable. There’s apricot and pineapple cubes. Oranges and redcurrants. A little wax. Nice hints of hibiscus tea. Quite ethereal and a little volatile, again not very typical but I really enjoyed it.
Mouth: again a mixture of both styles. There’s the classic pink grapefruit / apricot / pineapple combination but also the big sherry character of dried fruits. Yes, noticeable oak again, but within limits and without excessive dry notes – it’s more a leathery oak. Mint and dark chocolate too. Some nutmeg and cinnamon.
Finish: long, slightly sourish, on mint, cocoa and oak.
Note that I wouldn’t recommend this as a typical 1976 BenRiach, nor as the best heavily sherried version, but it comes close and it’s a very enjoyable variation on the theme. The best of the 1976 casks in this batch, but not worth the asking price of around € 350 in my opinion.