BenRiach Sauternes 11yo 2018
11 years old – vintage 2018
Fully aged in ex Sauternes barriques
BenRiach was founded in 1898 by John Duff in the “Hearth of Speyside”, Morayshire. After only a couple of years of distilling, BenRiach had to ceased their operations due to the whisky crash (Pattison crash). The effect of the crash and the addition of the Prohibition in the States made a revival of the distillery almost impossible, and it remained closed for 65 years. The distillery still remained partly operational thanks to Longmorn, the near sister distillery, that sourced part of their malt from the floors of BenRiach (ok now I’m touched, this could be a Disney story) !
In 1965, BenRiach was reopened as we entered a Golden Age : social revolutions, decolonization, industrialization…and a shit ton of new whisky drinkers
Fast forward 39 years later and you stumble on 2004. That year, BenRiach made a surprising and unconventional move : they went full balistic independant. That move now allows them to make a lot of single cask offerings, different cask finish and even full maturation in special casks. which not many distilleries offer nowadays.
Color : straw.
Nose : vinous, candied fruit and grapefruit. The nose fades gradually after the first sips, leaving only a memory.
Palate : aouch. It tastes like Sauternes! If it was not my first drink, I would think I was mistaken for bottles and went to my cellar!
Candied cherries and liquorice all accompanied by a tangy freshness and slightly spicy on the tip of the tongue. Very sweet texture.
Final : finally the high percentage of alcohol is a little more felt. Hot and long finish at the top of the palace. Any citrus.
Comments : ce n’est pas de la piquette, like we would say in France about a VERY good wine ! It is very intense, very vinous…the complete aging in Sauternes casks is MUCH felt. I like it a lot. Aging in wine barrels are really in my palette, but it might not be suitable for everyone! Imagine a Sauternes at 56% 😜
Again, a big thank you to Pat Desjardins for the sample and the picture 🙂