Two New Releases from BenRiach

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By Mike Lord

Benriach 12 Years Old Horizons Triple Distilled

‘Horizons’ is quite an unique whisky for BenRiach and Speyside for that matter. It has been triple distilled.  The previous owners of BenRiach, Chivas Brothers, performed some experiments with triple distillation at BenRiach back in 1998 – why is not clear.  ‘Horizons’ is then finished for a minimum of 3 years in Oloroso Sherry butts (having started life in ex-bourbon casks).  It is aged over 12 years old, is non chill filtered, and is bottled at 50% ABV.

Tasting notes from Benriach:-

Nose: Roasted almonds and Brazil nuts. Hot, freshly buttered scones smothered in clotted cream. Sweet heather honey adds an extra luxurious contribution.

Taste: Vibrant and wonderfully fresh. Huge nutty characteristics right from the start including peanuts, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts. A slice of sweet creamy oak and honey brings balance to the equation.

Benriach 15 Years Old Solstice Peated Port Finish

‘Solstice’ is a heavily peated BenRiach which started off life in ex-bourbon barrels, and has then been finished in Tawny Port Pipes.  Great that port pipes have been used for this.  Benriach say that what makes this release so special is that these casks are some of the best they have in the warehouse – they are simply sensational. Both Billy Walker, master blender, and Stewart Buchanan, distillery manager, have identified these casks as exceptional.  Stewart told me that he is particularly pleased with this one.  After all, peat and port is always a winner.  ‘Solstice’ is aged over 15 years old, is non chill filtered, and is bottled at 50% ABV.

Tasting notes from Benriach:-

Nose: Benriach: Rich wood smoke with ladles of sweet peat. Home made raspberry jam and spiced fruit shortcake. Spicy and big.

Taste: Benriach: Massive peat and wood smoke flavours partner a base of soft red fruits and autumn spices - cloves and cinnamon specifically. Very bold and intense characteristics.