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Benriach 12 Year Old Sherry Wood

From Spice to cream

0 589

@hunggarReview by @hunggar

28th Jan 2013


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I bought this bottle for a very reasonable price at a local retailer here in Taiwan. The salesman at the store seemed to endorse it (in an honest way). I had tried the traditional 12 yr old Benriach and I had thought it was quite good, but not great. He assured me this was a very different dram. I was interested by the combination of Oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks. I had no idea at that time that I was about to discover an absolutely lovely whisky that would become a mainstay in my cabinet.

Right away we get a hit of spice with the nose. Sultanas, pepper, and nutmeg. Then the sherry scent starts to show itself. I get some dark cherries, dried banana, figs, and burnt vanilla.

The arrival is even spicier. As it hits the front of your mouth you notice it's soft creamy texture. As soon as it reaches the back of your tongue it's a quick and strong spice attack. For some reason I'm reminded of Caribbean jerk spice here, but that may just be me. Peppery. The spiciness doesn't linger, but rather smoothly transitions into the sherry flavours, with figs, cherries, and caramel rounding it out. The finish is quite creamy. The flavours linger but become light and almost milky as they dissipate.

I tend to enjoy sherried whiskies above all else, but I also enjoy creaminess. This one is a particularly enjoyable and unique dram as it has married both of these qualities beautifully. There's spice, there's sherried complexity, and there's a finish that's as smooth as ice cream. It's not for everyone. The spices may be a bit much for some. Also, it's not a full on sherry bomb, nor is it a "light" creamy whisky. It's somewhere in between, without loosing its Speyside identity. Certainly interesting and one I'll definitely be buying again. If you can find it. You may not love it, but you won't be bored.

Related BenRiach reviews


Rigmorole commented

Have you tried the "dark rum cask" BR 15? I can't buy the one you just reviewed in Oregon. It sounds really good though. Just curious if the rum cask is any good

8 years ago 0

hunggar commented

I haven't tried any of the other "wood" series from BR. Certainly on my to do list. This one seems to be the best reviewed out of the group. The 12 yr sherry is a tough act to beat, I'm definitely up for trying the rum one, although I've heard from a friend that it's less than stellar. As for this one, quite a shame its not available in Oregon. I was wondering why there aren't more reviews/comments out there for this guy. Perhaps it's not as widely available as it should be, which really is a shame. It's definitely a personal favorite!

8 years ago 0

Wills commented

Great written review @hunggar, thx! Just searched for this bottle because of the 'most underrated whisky' thread. This dram for sure is on my wishlist now!

7 years ago 0

hunggar commented

It's a wonderful dram. However it's definitely on the sweet side. I tend to think of it as a dessert whisky. Good for Christmas as well as it's very rich and sweet.

Also, it has an equally delicious older brother, the 15 yr old PX finish. Somewhat more smooth and less spicy. In fact I prefer it. But this one's a winner too. Highly recommended for sherry bombers with a sweet tooth. ;)

7 years ago 0

selfbuilt commented

Thanks for the review. I agree, it's surprising there aren't more reviews of this one out there. But I wonder if yours is different from the "Matured in Sherry Wood" version of the BenRiach 12 year old available in North America? I understood there was originally a version available only in Asia, so it's possible there could be a difference. My sample recently purchased at the LCBO - while still having strong sherry flavours - is more dry and less creamy than I would have expected. Still, a very nice gentle introduction to the sherried malt class.

5 years ago 0

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