Benriach 1998 17 year old cask #7758 TWE Exclusive
PX Cask Finish
Non chill filtered
No added colouring
£99.95 from The Whisky Exchange
On first pour we have a very intense alcohol infused fruitcake. Some rich treacle toffee and dusty oak sits in the background. After 10 minutes sat with a cover we get creamy vanilla, some rich shortcake biscuit and some added stoned fruits, specifically cherry. It’s a bit of a sherry bomb on the nose with a lovely subtle creamy background character. After a little more time cherry becomes more prominent with touches of orange rind and oily almond marzipan.
Initially a sweet blast of cherry and fruit hits, quickly taking a back step to a little tart sourness and nutty dryness, then a short alcohol blast. After that subsides, we have layers of dry fruits, nuts, some very dark crumbled chocolate, some vanilla and tobacco. Later in the development it has quite an old aged Armagnac note running through. Sweeter, chewy stoned fruits are very pleasant at the back of the mouth. The mouthfeel, silky and delightful. Quite a set of zingy flavours which makes this a lovely experience all around.
Dry and nutty, more walnuts and hazelnuts now, touches of fruit in the very background. Some left over dried marzipan at the very finish. Chest hugging warmth accompanies the finish giving a great feel good factor.
A few drops added in and further time applied. The nose has some added age now in the form of dusty bookshelves and polished mahogany. The sherry intensity is increased slightly with more alcohol infused fruits, sweet cinnamon and clove. The palate is slightly lighter and all about the fruit blast, much juicier now and exceedingly quaffable. Lots of bright and juicy fruits, sweet and citric. The finish is back to the dry nuttiness, with a fruitier citrus zing. It’s absolutely lovely, and quite a different dram with water. It’s a two-face one, so try both variants, take notes and enjoy it with or without at your own luxury.
A beautiful sherry monster of a dram, with a softer side. I’ve been off my sherry style recently, but this has really re-invigorated my desire for those fruity, spicy, nutty monsters. Beautiful stuff.
Many thanks to The Whisky Exchange for the review sample