Two 18 yo Peated Benriach–Albariza & Dunder

Time to try a few Peated Benriachs that have eluded me for some time (no idea why). Both are 18 year old, peated, what differentiates one another is the cask finish chosen. The first one Albariza was finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks. The name Albariza comes from a type of chalky soil which is typical for Andalucia (in Spain). Most vineyards in the Sherry producing regions are planted on Albariza soil. What is a bit weird is that this particular type of sherry (PX) is not grown on Albariza , as most often It is Palomino grapes (used for other types of sherry, but not PX) is planted on that soil. Let’s get tasting. shall we?

BenRiach 18 yo Albariza , 46% , £119 benriach-18-year-old-albariza-whisky

Nose: Initial sour wine, red fruit and cinnamon. Baked fruit and balsamic concentrate. Earthy peat. Dried fruit mostly in the form of white raisins , and fig. leather and hay.

Palate: Ripe plums and dried fruit in sugary syrup. Marinated pork in sweet sauce and wood smoke with earthy peat , cinnamon and more ripe red fruit. Some tannins and chilly.

Finish: Dry. Sweet sherry , leather peat and wood smoke, cough syrup.

Bottom Line:

A very nice dram with quite a complex nose, and a rich palate. IMHO the PX is not overpowering which is nice. a great combo of peat and PX Sherry.

Score: 88/100


Now off to the Dunder. This one is aged 18 years in American oak then finished in Dark Rum barrels. The whisky takes its name from the residue of cane juice left in a still after the distillation of a batch of rum. Traditionally used as a yeast source in the fermentation process of Jamaican rum, it gives the rum a unique aroma and flavor.

Benriach Dunder , 18 yo , 46% , £67 benriach-18-year-old-dunder-whisky

Nose: a very nice combination of Demerara sugar and overripe orange and a certain rubbery undertone all along with lovely wood smoke and sweet semi spicy earthy peat.

Palate: unquote a bit of rubber up front with sticky caramelized dark brown sugar earthy peat and sweet smoke. Salted toffee and semi-sweet banana with smoky barley juices.

Finish: Dirty peat, rubber , licorice , salty caramel.

Bottom Line:

This is a darker sort of whisky, with more “dirt” (in a good way), quite some rubber and the rum influence is really strong. I was quite a fan, but it does seem a wee bit less complex than the sherry. Good stuff for the dirty rum lover, and dunder it is, very befitting as a name.

Score: 87/100


Two worthy drams, if you’re a peat lover who enjoys some wine / rum touches, which complement the whisky (yes, it does!), go for either, if you can find them. Can not go wrong with BenRiach.

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