This BenRiach 15 Year Old was first matured in bourbon barrels and then finished in Tawny Port hogsheads from the Douro region in Portugal.
This is now discontinued and replaced by the BenRiach 21 Year Old Tawny Port finish. It’s now more than double the price as well.
BenRiach 15 yo ‘Tawny Port Finish’
(46%, OB +/- 2015)
Nose: honey and raspberries up front, with something of damp tobacco leaves in the background. Blackberries. Hints of black pepper, cinnamon and crème brûlée too. Quite pleasant.
Mouth: strange and very winey. Grape skins, forest fruits and bitter chocolate. Cooked strawberries. Pepper and menthol. Candied ginger. It feels like whisky with an actual dash of red wine. Little integration really.
Finish: very winey again, rather sharp, on pepper and bitter berries.
This reminds me of the early days of wine finishing, I’m thinking of the pioneers Arrans and Bruichladdichs whose first experiments weren’t always entirely balanced. I hope the new 21 Year Old can convince me. Around € 55.