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BenRiach 1994 Virgin Oak Single Cask

Super Tasty

0 293

@MaltActivistReview by @MaltActivist

9th Jul 2015


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

It takes a while to get over a bad initial meeting that can, literally, leave a bad taste in your mouth. For those of you read my reviews you probably know that my first encounter with a BenRiach was with a terrible 20 year old.

I can still recall the acrid taste in my mouth as I sipped it for the first time. I vowed never to try another BenRiach again. Of course, my forgiving nature (and reading countless good reviews of other BenRiachs) got the best of me and I gave in eventually.

In fact, trying to make up for lost time, I ended up on a BenRiach binge buying pretty much anything I could get my hands on. What I discovered was a solid Speyside distillery with a beautiful variety of spirits to choose from with almost all of them hitting an above average score in my books.

Like most seasoned whisky drinkers there's something about single cask whiskies that holds a certain allure. Especially if they're served at cask strength. I believe this version of whisky is the truest way of consuming the good stuff.

This particular BenRiach in my hands has been distilled in 1994 and put in 344 bottles in October 2013 at a cask strength of 55.3%.

Now this is what I don't understand. The label on the bottle claims that it is a single cask whisky. But it also states that it is finished in Virgin American Oak (hogshead). Now to the best of my understanding a finish is when you take the whisky out of one cask and put it in another cask for a short period of time towards the end of it's maturation phase.

So if that's true this is technically not a single cask is it?

Oh, well. Who cares what the label says when the liquid inside is this good.

Nose: Dark honey. French beans. Caramel. Chocolate. Leather. Tobacco. Roasted cigar leaf. Maple syrup. Banana. Breakfast jam. Vanilla. Coconut. Almonds. Red berries. Gorgeous nose bursting with flavor. Love it! (24/25)

Palate: So creamy smooth. Banana. Chocolate. Cinnamon. Black pepper. Touch of oak. Quite sweet. That dark honey again. Plums. Raisins. Fig. Burnt toast. An honest reflection of the nose. (23/25)

Finish: Long. Jambolin. Salty. Spicy. (23/25)

Such a gorgeous whisky this. The complete package in my opinion. Lovely to nose and taste with the just the right balance of sweet and spicy. So glad I decided to forgive them.

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Ol_Jas commented

I've always understood "single cask" to mean "not vatted with other casks" rather than "not moved between cask types." But apparently it's an officially undefined term so it means whatever people say it means.

All that said, read the following if you haven't already. (Glendronach and Benriach are bedfellows.) myannoyingopinions.com/2014/02/…

2 years ago 0

Robert99 commented

@MaltActivist Great Review! It seems like a crowd pleaser. It certainly checked all the boxes of my triggers list for buying. I heard people complaining that disilleries like Benriach are going all over the place with there finishes and are not respecting the scotch. I thing they are disregarding the quality of there malt when it comes specificaly to Benriach. Enjoy your find sir and wich me goodluck to find it.

2 years ago 0

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