Review: BenRiach, 1996 Malts of Scotland

BenRiach MoS

BenRiach – 18yo 1996 Malts of Scotland

(Bourbon hogshead #14017, 282 bottles, 52.2%)

Can I be honest (and, yes, slightly flippant) and admit that the capital R in BenRiach annoys me a bit? Benriach or Ben Riach surely. The whisky is usually pretty great though.

Nose: Just massively fruity – we’re talking whole packs of Chewits and Juicy Fruit gum dissolved in orange squash. Very creamy too: somewhere between butter and cream soda. Imagine sliced green grapes covered in single cream. Occasional hints of coffee in the background.
Taste: A more tropical sort of fruitiness. Jackfruit, mangoes and very distinct pineapple. Vanilla custard with a bit of honeycomb. Creamy mouthfeel.
Finish: Loads of honey. Some light ginger and peppery spiciness balances the fudgy sweetness.

I introduced some bourbon fans to Scotch with this bottle, and I can report that it went down a treat. It’s perfect uncomplicated fruity summer whisky (I wouldn’t hold it against you if you stuck a few ice-cubes in), and has disappeared both alarmingly quickly and without the slightest effort.

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