This is a special bottling from the new Exceptional Cask series. A 21-year-old Benriach was bottled with a port cask finish. The price is also exceptional at €190. It's good if you can secure a sample in time.
These are wonderful sweet wine aromas, ripe fruit, moist strawberry cake with whipped cream and toasted slivers of almonds. There are also the aromas of British wine gums, which are less perfumed-artificial and have a slightly matt start. Then subtle cocoa appears with a fine sweetness and some wood. The aromas are held together by the vanilla note, which does not come from the vanilla sugar but from the vanilla pod.
The alcohol is ok, a few drops of water won't hurt. Then the wine gum flavors unfold from the nosing with some chocolate still clinging to the palate and a sweetness that takes a moment to spread. In the background, wood floats from the box in which the chocolate was stored. Or is it the creamy chocolate cake with chocolate chips (stored in the wooden box)? That's delicious. And there is not a hint of sulfur that could get on the nerves of such bottlings.
The fruity notes with wine gum and chocolate remain, the wood is in the background and should stay there.
I was skeptical - but the whisky wins with every sip. It is delicious, has no off-flavors and develops a harmonious aroma with fruit, depth and spice, without becoming too sweet, but the aromas are not destroyed by bitterness or old cask either. Of course, the finish dominates - but it is not fake, but brings a port aroma that harmonizes well with the vanilla aromas of the initial aging. And you want to refill it again to check the aromas. A delicious whisky that is fun.
Is it worth €190? Everyone has to decide that for themselves. I don't spend that much money on a bottle of whisky - but I'm glad I was able to buy a sample.