Benromach released the 2009 edition of its Sassicaia Wood Finish recently. Like the previous editions (2005, 2006 and 2007) it was originally matured in first-fill bourbon barrels before being finished for 28 months in wine casks from the Bolgheri region in Tuscany, Italy.
They’ve released almost 8000 bottles, almost double the amount of the last edition.
Benromach Sassicaia 2009 ‘Wood finish’ (45%, OB 2017, 7783 btl.)
Nose: the same old-style whisky as the 10 Year Old, with dusty barley, earth and quite some smoke. Rather sweet this time: brown sugar, red berries and cinnamon. A mustard & honey combo. Blood oranges. Walnuts. I’m not a fan of red wine finishes but this is subtle enough.
Mouth: smoke and blueberries. Pepper and clove, a little liquorice. Something of strawberries, but with a slight acrid side – the mustard again. Ends on grassy touches, leather, dried Mediterranean herbs and hints of cranberries.
Finish: medium long, with a more obvious winey side now, including a few mild tannins, salt and soft peat.
I’ve had wine finishes that were much less successful. Not bad, but rather superfluous – I prefer the brilliant naked version of this malt. Should arrive in stores soon, for around € 50.