Benriach 17 yo ‘Septemdecim’ (46%, OB, +/-2015)
A peated one. Quite loved the early bottlings despite the wacky Roman
name (WF 87 in 2012). Colour: white wine. Nose: was it still Seagram
that made these peated batches? It’s one of the most delicate and
elegant peat I’ve seen, although delicateness and elegance might not
quite be what you’d expect from a peated whisky. Love these whiffs of
old toolbox, penny book, castor oil, fresh oil paint, or linseed oil…
It’s a very un-coastal peatiness, but the mainland sure has its charms.
Mouth: I remember why I loved an earlier version, it’s because it’s so
un-Islay. Salted cough syrup, ink, smoked salmon, ashes… I’m re-reading
my old notes, and it seems that it used to be fruitier, while this one’s
clearly more ashy/salty/sooty. Eating cigar ashes (while distracted).
Finish: quite long, very ashy. I don’t quite know where this saltiness
come from – doesn’t smoke trigger salt on our tongues? A debate to open
on a whisky forum, one day… Comments: I think it got different, but
quality’s similarly high. Forgot to mention lapsang souchong, this is
very ‘lapsang-souchong-y’. No, we’re afraid of nothing. SGP:367 - 87 points.