This old glory is a peated Benriach, made when several distilleries on the mainland were trying to produce some ‘Islay’ for the blends, especially Seagram’s distilleries (Strathisla…).
Colour: full gold.
Nose: hold on, this is something. Not ‘a peater’ (in the sense that Caol Ila 1981 would be a peater), but these camphory notes are just out of this world, since they would lead us to myriads of tinier empyreumatical and pine-y touches, such as putty once again, oil paint as well, triple-sec, pinesap, a pack of menthol cigarettes, pine needles, carbolineum, new linoleum while we’re at it (remember?), bakelite, new LP (Van Halen, and why not?)… And just fresh thyme and mint leaves. Oh and honeydew. Masterful job here, unless the palate is a wreck…
Mouth: of course it’s not. We’re finding a few unlikely bitterish notes that remind us of the Thirty, but all the rest is impeccable and very complex. Many herbs, saps, citrus, oils, roasted nuts, small berries… I’m particularly reminded of my favourite within the liquorice allsorts, the wee square one with a layer of some kind of lemon sugar paste sneaked between two layers of soft liquorice. Remember, all sorts love allsorts and I love this Benriach!
Finish: medium, well on liquorice allsorts and various herbal liqueurs, first Chartreuse then all the others. Verveine du Velay (verbena liqueur). A little fir honeydew and mead in the aftertaste. Rather roots, bitter gentian in the aftertaste.
Comments: clearly not a peat monster but I’m very fond of this old Benriach that’s almost as singular as the strange Thirty, but much better balanced. And almost refreshing.
SGP:463 - 91 points.
but 1100 euros? No thanks.