Benriach The Sixteen returned to the Speyside distiller’s core line-up when it was relaunched this past February, ending a hiatus that began in 2016. Aged for—you guessed it—at least 16 years in bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak casks, it’s bottled at a moderate 43% ABV and fills in the missing space between Benriach The Twelve and Benriach The Twenty One.
The nose is earthy and sweet, all honey and apples with earthy malt smoke in the distance. It proves round and luscious on the palate with its orchard fruit flavors presenting first. Those notes sweeten towards the back like apples rolled in brown sugar and caramel to a finish that’s remarkably sweet and closes with a touch of ginger spice and a whiff of smoke, setting up a pleasing contrast at its lengthy finish.
Benriach The Sixteen is a lush, rolling delight of a whisky, about as candied as a scotch can be without relinquishing its malty robustness or complexity. It’s something I wouldn’t mind for dessert, particularly after a savory meal.