Benriach The Twelve is one of their rebranded core range whiskies. It is unpeated (there’s also The Smoky Twelve) and matured in bourbon barrels, sherry casks and Port casks (which replace the virgin oak component that used to be part of this expression). This should give it a different character than just The Original Ten with a bit more maturity.
Benriach 12 yo ‘The Twelve’ (46%, OB 2020)
Nose: very peachy and sweet. Pineapple candy, grape juice, a hint of blood orange as well. Then some honey and golden raisins. There’s something of a white Port actually, I’m not sure they disclosed the type. Very light sandalwood in the background, with a gingery note as well.
Mouth: gentle and fairly malty now. Hints of creamy vanilla pastry prevail over the apricots and bananas. More oak spice too (pepper, ginger, cinnamon) with a little mocha and caramel. Fruit cake and light nutty notes.
Finish: quite long, with some dried fruits, cinnamon and mocha.
The Twelve definitely benefits from the additional 3% ABV and the fortified wine influence, compared to The Ten which relies more on classic bourbon casks. It’s more complex than I expected and offers really good value for money. Available from The Whisky Exchange and TyndrumWhisky for instance.