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Bert Bruyneel surprise dus before with beautiful BenRiach bottlings for his own label Asta Morris. I am reminded of that wonderful 1979 and the nec ultra plus hors concours 1975, an absolute dram for the gods. In the meanwhile a 1977 appeared that I was not immediately blown away by during a tasting a few months back. Not so long ago, I was able to get my hands on a 1979. Today, I have the opportunity to put them head-to-head. I’ll start by re-tasting the 34 Year Old from 1977.
The nose is very subtle and fruity. Mandarin, green banana, blood oranges and some white apples and pears. On the herb front, I get mint and thyme. Slightly floral. In the background I get some vanilla and a soft touch of oak. Not an exotic fruitbomb like the 1975, but still wonderfully sweet. This one is a whole lot more reserved than its predecessors. Hand warmth does magic here. After a few moments, the banana and apples put down their foot.
It is very creamy and mouthcoating, pretty spicy (ginger) and fruity. Again apples, pears and banana, upholstered by marzipan, peach, mirabelles and grapefruit. An exotic fruitbomb after all! Wonderful oak influence, making him vibrant and picquant.
The finish lasts longer than a good movie and is very zesty and hearth warming.
Damn! Ho won earth could I judge this one ‘good but not great’ only a few months back? I stand corrected! Bad timing? Dirty glass? Whatever, this is a magnificent bottle. Dare I say it? Oh, what the hell. After the 1975, which cannot be beaten in my opinion, this is the best BenRiach Bert has selected so far. The 1975 was a bomb, this 1979 is a hand grenade.