Thanks to Yoav at Whisky Gospel for the sample.
Benromach has no lack of fanboys nowadays and received a lot of attention because of their simply brilliant their 10 year old expressions. But Benromach is by no means a one trick pony and they have a range of interesting expressions, like a heavily peated version, a 5-year-old, an expression made with organic barley and a few that use experimental cask types.
This is one of several red wine cask finished expressions released every year. Sassicaia is a Tuscan Bordeaux style red wine. This last release got quite a bit of a media fanfare, maybe to draw people’s attention to some of the range aside from the 10-year-olds, and rightfully so, they can be fantastic.
Aged 9 years. 45%ABV.
Nose: Smoky caramel. Smoky orange. Salt. Dry woodspice. Cedarwood. Candy apple. Grape juice. Bubblegum. Rich wood.
Palate: Burning grass. Bitter herbs. Pepper. Quite acrid. Woodspice.
Finish: Medium. Quite sharp. Bitter wood. Charred fruits.
Would I buy this: No
Would I order this in a bar: Yes
Would I drink this if someone gave me a glass: Yes
This was a decent whisky, but a bit of a let down. There were some unbalanced bitter notes and the palate and finish were a bit muted. Nose was nice though. I think I prefer the 2007 Hermitage Wood Finish by quite a margin.