Thursday, January 27, 2011

BenRiach 10 year

Photobucket   It doesn’t have to be a big name distillery to produce big name single-malts. While ultimately it all boils down to flavor within which I would also include quality, innovation, inspiration, and tradition, personal taste also plays a factor. But! One must always keep in mind that one’s favorite single may not be anothers which is in no way relevant to the quality of that single-malt. During my tenure at a local liquor store, I slowly and quietly fell in love with single-malts and Scotland through the words of Michael Jackson and other great whisky chasers. During my tutilage, there was a nondescript bottle of BenRiach 10 year which beckoned in soft persistance. Suffice to say, I am right here right now because resistance is futile and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
The distillery itself, BenRiach, has been around since the turn of the 19th century – 1898 to be exact. Just as Scotland has ridden the highs and lows of the whisky booms and busts, so too has BenRiach thus it pleases me to no end to pronounce this distillery quite alive and well. Amidst her many ownerships, the last of which being the behemoth Chivas Brothers, BenRiach now rests amidst the tender cares of three private individuals where she has flourished and continues to thrive.
I can’t say for sure, but I am fairly certain that the bottle which won my heart not so long ago was a prior release under Chivas ownership since I don’t see her anywhere on the new BenRiach website. And so, without further ado and a nod to my Lovely, it’s dram time.

Color: gold and straw with a clear brilliance marked by a medium depth bordered in ambers.

Nose: honeycomb, wood (raw oak), vanilla, saffron. Dew-dropped green grass amidst fields of wild flowers with waves of golden grains upon the horizon. Tickle of heat in the back which leads into a cooled honey glaze. Fruitcake esters in the middle – candied maraschino and pineapple. White bread crusts.

Body: light in front, full and sticky in the middle which features predominantly atop the tongue, and dry in the finish. Medium to medium-light weight. Delicate along the edges.

Palate: tickles in the back of spice, oak, and orange peel. Warm honeycomb sweetness finishes with oak in the back where gentle leather whispers. Candied pineapples underneath. Honeyed bread crust. Apple skins. Flavor dominates in the middle.

Finish: long and dry on top of the tongue with vanilla and saffron. Rawness of oak and orange skins.

(an original written work by Kristyn Lier. plagiarism is not tolerated)

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