Anchor Distilling begins 2014 right where they left off. Which is incredibly busy. Because the company that brought a handful of new Japanese whiskies and Penny Blue XO Rum stateside in 2013 just introduced four new BenRiach Scotch whiskies to the market.
The BenRiach Distillery is located in the northeast Speyside region of Scotland. BenRiach produces a vast array of whiskies covering a range of ages and finishes, and now we’ve got four more to taste. Let’s take a look at the newcomers.
The BenRiach Horizons 12 Year Old Triple Distilled
Most whiskies are distilled only twice, but The BenRiach Horizons is distilled three times before it’s aged for 12 years. The resulting spirit features a nose of roasted nuts, hot buttered scones and sweet heather honey. Drink up for more nutty characteristics, plus sweet, creamy oak and honey. 50% ABV / $79.99
The BenRiach Solstice 2nd Edition 17 Year Old
Like the first edition, Solstice 17 Year Old has been distilled from heavily peated malted barley before it is matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in tawny port casks. The result: lots of peat and lots of fruit. On the nose, you’ll get plenty of strawberries, blackberries and red currants, plus a heavy dose of that peat with traces of port. On the palate, things start dry, roasty and nutty before moving toward heavy peat, dried raisins and candied fruit. The finish is long and smooth. 50% ABV / $99.99
The BenRiach Septendecim 17 Year Old Peated Single Malt
This peated single malt is non chill-filtered and matured in ex-bourbon casks for a bold and flavorful expression. On the nose, there’s a mix of fresh peaty aromas, apples, honey and toasted nuts. Take a sip and that peaty backbone is accented with honey, raisins and leather. 46% ABV / $79.99
The BenRiach Authenticus 25 Year Old Peated Single Malt
More peat here, as the 25 Year Old drinks in smoky, full-bodied fashion. On the nose, Authenticus has notes of ripe pineapples, fresh herbs and peat smoke. On the palate, there’s more peat, more herbs and some sweet, wild honey. All around, this is one robust, flavorful and long-lasting dram. 46% ABV / $249.99
The BenRiach Distillery dates back to 1898 but changed hands many times over the years. After gaining its independence in 2004, the distillery has been putting out and rediscovering some really fine whiskies. Even if you don’t sample the foursome above, try looking for BenRiach — the easy-drinking 12 Year makes a fine introduction — the next time you’re browsing your local liquor shop.