The BenRiach 20 Years is the oldest expression in the flagship range (the 25 Years and 35 Years are seen as premium expressions). I’ve always had a sweet spot for this whisky, let’s try a recent batch.
Previous bottlings had a white label with blue illustrations. The new version (introduced this year?) is dark blue with gold lettering, but most shops are still selling the old one.
BenRiach 20 yo
(43%, OB +/- 2017)
Nose: light and elegant. Full of aromatic fruits, pineapple, tangerines, apricot, as well as juicy apples and plums. It also has a nice layer of polished oak, vanilla, frangipane and cardamom. Hints of heather honey and wild flowers. It’s not that far from the excellent 1970s whiskies from this distillery.
Mouth: same juicy fruitiness (apples, plums, oranges, pink grapefruit) with elegant oak and a floral top note. Vanilla cream. More nutty notes towards the end, say almonds and walnuts. A slightly woody touch too.
Finish: long, oaky, fairly sweet and spicier.
I guess this BenRiach 20 Years is mostly influenced by some fragrant American oak. It works well with the fruity spirit. I like it very much, and it’s relatively affordable: around € 100. I’ve only seen this batch at The Whisky Exchange while Master of Malt is out of stock.