Nose: Peat, fruit, and vanilla are immediately apparent. Apricot. Peach. Plum. Cocoa powder. Dried fruits. Caramel. Oak. As if there is a well-aged bourbon hiding behind peat smoke and stone fruits. Very nice.
Palate: Earthy peat. Vanilla. Blackberries. Stone fruits. Raisin. Chocolate. Cigar leaf. On the backend, some cinnamon and spice. There is the hint of a meaty/savory note similar to what I’ve found in some other Speysides, such as Mortlach and Craigellachie. This savory element comes out more in the backend as it develops. Mouthfeel is thick and heavy.
Finish: Fairly dry. White wine. Cinnamon. Dried fruits. Raisins. Hint of dark chocolate. Oak.
Overall: Interesting and delicious. The nose and palate are very good and quite complex; the finish is nothing special, although not bad.
I’m surprised by how much peat smoke is present, considering the age. Peat often diminishes with age, but there is still quite a bit to be found in this one, even if it is a bit mellowed. The peat is a little different than your typical Islay peat, as there are no maritime or medicinal notes. It’s more of an earthy and mellow peat.
In spite of the stronger than expected peat presence, the age of this whisky is apparent. Plenty of oak and quite the diversity of flavors.
Buy again? Maybe. Probably not. This is good, but other whiskies of similar quality can be found for less money.
Score: 88/100Read my full review at http://meademule.com/2017/04/11/whisky-review-benriach-21-authenticus/