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Since 2004, the BenRiach distillery is owed by a private consortium, that put down casks for maturation in 2004 (so the production was uninterrupted), but they plan to bottle that whisky no sooner than 2016. So everything you taste from this distillery now, was still produced by the previous owners. There are quite a few expressions, as can be seen from their official website at www.benriachdistillery.co.uk.
I plan to taste some 8 expressions of this distillery this week. I’ll start with their entry malt Heart of Speyside (NAS). It was bottled in August 2004, by the new owners.
The nose is very fresh, but rather lacking in complexity. However, one does not expect a lot of depth from an entry malt. I get some fresh hay and honey on the nose, but mostly flavours of nuts and oak with a bit of spice. Rather young dram, I think.
It’s quite smooth with some smoke, pepper and marmalade on the palate.
Against my initial expectation, the finish is rather long and nicely peppered.
This is not a big whisky, but a very good one to get to know the distillery’s style. This Speysider won the silver medale in 2006 at the International Wine and Spirits Competition and is available from retailers for approx 25 to 30 EUR.