BenRiach 22 Years Albariza is a peated whisky matured in American oak and finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks.
Albariza is derived from alba (Spanish for white). It refers to the white chalky soil that is so typical for the sherry region (similar to the soils of Champagne or Chablis). It should be noted though that very little Pedro Ximénez grapes are planted in the sherry triangle, most of them are imported from the nearby Montilla-Moriles region.
BenRiach 22 yo Albariza (46%, OB 2017, peated, Pedro Ximénez finish)
Nose: the peat is much more subtle here than in the 18 Years Albariza. It allows the bright fruity notes to shine. Apricots, blood oranges, hints of strawberry and Turkish delight as well. Just fine, fruity sherry. Leathery notes and light ashes. Honey and delicate mint.
Mouth: still fresh and fruity, now more spicy notes too. Strawberries again, oranges and red plums. Mid-palate you get a slightly mentholated, elegant peaty side, as well as dark chocolate and vanilla. Cinnamon and honey.
Finish: quite long, with ashes and slightly sour peat, blending with red berries.
A nice surprise: great drinking whisky, with candied fruity notes and subtle, elegant peat. Definitely deserves some attention. Still available from Master of Malt or The Whisky Exchange.