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Benriach Solstice 15 Year Old Peated Port Finish

Average score from 3 reviews and 3 ratings 89

Benriach Solstice 15 Year Old Peated Port Finish

Product details

  • Brand: BenRiach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 50.0%
  • Age: 15 year old

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Benriach Solstice 15 Year Old Peated Port Finish

When talking movies, Formula 51 comes to mind. These two have similar kind of qualities and BenRiach seems to have some kind of secret formula for making good whisky.

Like the movie, this 2nd edition of Solstice is fresh, sweet, rough, strong and bursting with character. And most of all, it's a substance creating amazing feeling for the users – well, for me at least. This BenRiach has been finished in port pipes.

Nose: Strong peat dominates sweetly and full of spices. Smoke stays sophisticated. Similar to a bonfire on a wet soil, being put out. Spicy meat mixed with fruits. Water adds more fruits: oranges start to dominate.

Taste: Fruity with earthy peat smoke. Full, juicy and sweet, yet rough. Salt, peat and warming spices with hints of oil. Once again, water makes it fruitier.

Finish: Lasts long, roasted and dry. Coal with peat and spices. Water smoothens things.

Balance: Amazing whisky. Just when I thought there's no topping Septendecim, BenRiach struck again. Port and smoke seems to be my cup of tea.


In January 2011, BenRiach launched the 15 Year Old Solstice, a heavily peated version that got a Tawny Port Pipe finish after the regular maturation on bourbon barrels. It was very well received, which prompted the distillery in releasing a second edition. It has slept a bit longer, because this is a 17 Year Old. The port casks came from the Duoro region in Portugal. It has a very peculiar ruby pink color.

The nose is a balanced mix of sweet berry jam (gooseberry, blackberry, strawberry and raspberry), on sweet peat that offers the smokiness of a bonfire. It even has a farmy side. It becomes sweeter as you leave it to breath. The port wine slowly but surely shines through. Enticing.

The attack is sweet, but more of a dried fruit variety. Raisins, preserved apricots, even some figs. Oh, look, there are the strawberries again. Oh, in full force, very juicy. The smoky blanket around it is absolutely fabulous. And it is very smoky indeed, more than on the nose.

The finish is silky soft, slightly drying and more of the same: peat and sweet port.

Smoked strawberry, what a special combination. And a complete success.

I have one of these ordered and am positively drooling.


Color : I usually do not attribute much to a color of a whisky, but this one is so beautiful i t deserves an honorary mention wonderful Copper, The port casks did their magic here! Nose : Peat reek with cough syrup. Very pronounced wine notes. Fortified wine , new make cured bacon some vinegary notes too. Palate: The first thing that comes to mind is cinnamon bubble gum, you know the spicy one we used to chew as kids. Then enters peat, smoke and envelope glue (Remember we once used to lick envelopes, before the stickers). If you appreciate Dr. pepper you will find some notes of that too here.

Finish : Long. Sweet peaty BBQ. Cinnamon gum sweet N’ Spicy.

All in all this is a cracking dram. A very nice variation on the 17 peated expression, with the port really playing first fiddle here, allowing the peat and cinammony notes to shine. Complex, Vibrant, and really special. I like this one very much! and with the 50%, it’s just perfect.

@galg, I agree with you that the Solstice 17 is a very good Whisky (as the Solstice 15 was before) - I think the Solstice, the Authenticus 21 and the 20 year old are the best in the core-range and offer good bang for the buck.

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