This is another 18 year old peated Benriach. This one’s “thing” is that it was finished in Madeira casks. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned before, but Madeira is a type of Portuguese fortified wine , and it can do some very cool stuff to whisky, usually adding some lovely aromatic, spicy notes, and changing the character quite a bit.
Aged 18 years. 46%ABV. Matured in ‘American Oak’ and finished in Madeira casks. No colourant added and non-chill filtered.
Nose: Chalky. Grassy peat. Aromatic green herbs, mint, sage, parsley, wintergreen. Honey. A very ‘airy’ wood note, like standing in a large, empty barn. Some sweet bourbon cask fruit notes as well, banana, pear, apricot, gooseberries. Vanilla custard.
Palate: Very dry. Charred wood. Earthy peat. Salt. Dry leaves. Unsweetened dry fruits. Bitter citrus. A little bit of road tar.
Finish: Long. Dry corks. Soaked wood in the sun. Dry smoke. Dry ginger ale. Black tea, unsweetened.
Would I buy this: Yes
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
There’s quite a drastic change here from nose to palate, I can see how it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly mine. Not quite as balanced and sublime as the Solstice, but very interesting.