for Whisky Live Tokyo 2013.
In the post about Mini Stages TIBS I have promissed to give you tasting notes of single malt, single cask whisky BenRiach 1985, launched especially for Tokyo International Bar Show & Whisky Live Tokyo 2013.
Before tasting notes it is worth to write that BenRiach for many years was little known distillery. Everything changed in 2004 thanks to Billy Walker, who gathered around him a group of people with appropriate finances and breathed new life into the distillery.
BenRiach means the hill of the red deer. Distillery was built in 1898 years, and after two years was closed due to the collapse of Pattinson brothers (big bankruptcy in the world of whisky involving many distilleries). Re-opened in 1965.
The distillery is located next to the Longmorn Distillery in Speyside. Over the years there was a long cooperation between these distilleries. Longmorn Distillery used BenRiach’s malting floors. Probably it saved the buildings from destruction.
What’s quite unusual for a Speyside they produce also peated versions of whisky. Today, the distillery is experimenting a lot, for example like Bruichladdich and creates multiple versions of whisky, aged in a variety of casks, including peated versions. 70% of casks are Bourbon barrels, 20% sherry and the rest full range of: rum, port, marsala, sauthernes, Burgundy, Madeira. Due to such a large variety, today it is difficult to determine the nature of the distillery, the times – the desire to reach a wide range of consumers.
Currently the distillery gets back to its roots and which is quite rare they are malting barley in their own malting floors.
In the hands of the same owners are: GlenDronach and Glenglassaugh Distillery.
Coming back to BenRiah 1985 Limited Release Tokyo International Bar Show, as the name suggests we have 27 years old whisky. Single cask No. 3091, re-fill hogshead cask, bottled in 2013 rok, my bottle No. 4 of 222, natural colour, un-chillfiltered, cask strength 42,2% ABV. As for 27 years in the cask we have quite a big angel’s share (alcohol loss due to evaporation during the maturation in the cask). I have seen older single malts with alcohol still around 50-60% ABV, interesting ….
I bought my bottle in Tokyo while TIBS & Whisky Live Tokyo 2013 in Shinanoya shop.
C: light gold,
N: fresh, citrus, a little apple, a little vanilla too, generally gentle and quickly escaping, in the distant background pieces of wood, a drop of water reinforces the nose and shows traces of peat,
S: first gently sparkling on the tongue, then takes on tones and shows clear changing phases of wood with a little bitterness, then fruits – Hungarian plum, peaches in syrup, with a hint of herbal, something like rosemary, also a bit of peat,
F: medium long to long, oaky and fruity.
In case of this single malt a lot is going on afer adding just a few drops of water and leaving whisky to breathe in the glass. It strengthens the nose, highlights the flavor and the finish becomes long. The difference is clear and probably results of 27 years of peaceful aging in the cask.