BenRiach has a new expression in their ‘classic’ (unpeated) range, BenRiach 21 Year Old. I suppose this means the excellent BenRiach 20 Years will be phased out. Mind that there is also a peated 21 year-old Authenticus.
The recipe is quite unconventional, with four oak types involved: ex-bourbon, Pedro Ximénez sherry, red wine (Limousin oak) and virgin oak casks. It is one of the first creations of the new Master Blender Rachel Barrie.
BenRiach 21 yo (46%, OB 2017)
Nose: a bright fruity nose, with the ex-bourbon oak in front with some oak spices from the virgin wood. Peaches, Granny Smith apples, lemon peels with pepper and ginger. Light marshmallow and vanilla. A hint of strawberry candy after a while. I can get something from all oak types except for the PX maybe.
Mouth: same intense fruitiness (peaches, berries, citrus) a bit like a fruit compote. Then some milk chocolate and sultanas (sherry after all) and balanced spices. Cinnamon pastry, a little ginger. Sweet biscuits.
Finish: quite long, with a sweet maltiness, light earthy touches and oak spices.
It’s quite a complex dram and the composition is very well done, you really get something from all oak types without breaking the balance. Personally I’m not a fan of using so many casks but here it works out well. Coming soon, already available from Master of Malt.