A BenRiach 1993, finished in virgin American oak. It was selected by The Whisky Agency – sister cask #7976 had been bottled last year.
BenRiach 20 yo 1993 (52,3%, OB for The Whisky Agency 2014, cask #7977, Virgin American oak finish, 308 btl.)
Nose: intensely oak-infused, but in a very nice way. Dried coconut, waxed leather, mint syrup and vanilla. Traces of grain whisky, traces of rum, traces of American whiskey too. Apricots and bananas. Quite a lot of sawdust and oak polish. Hints of hay and spices. It’s not your classic Scotch, but it’s really enticing.
Mouth: thick, sweet and oily, with lots of vanilla and pencil shavings. Actually this could have been made in America. Coconut cream and barley sugars. Mango and green banana. Some biscuity notes. Ginger and pepper.
Finish: long, spicy and sweet. Almost a whisky liqueur.
I think BenRiach is one of the only distilleries that really master the art of virgin oak maturation / finishing, in a way that doesn’t hurt the character of the spirit and results in interesting new profiles. At some points surprisingly close to an actual bourbon. Around € 120.