I guess after the quite excellent and successful GlenDronach Cask Strength (currently in batch 5 or so), reviewed here on the blog, It was only a matter of time until the sister distillery of Benriach would come with a CS NAS edition, and this is it. If you’ve been following whisky news lately , you probably know about Brown-Forman (the company that makes Jack Daniels, and Woodford Reserve) has purchased The Benriach , Glendronach and Glenglassaugh quite recently, and this I guess is the last “Independent” expression coming from the Benriach. Hopefully, it’s not going to change much, and the 3 distilleries will continue making great whisky, of high quality as they have been doing under Billy Walker et al,.. Only time will tell. Let’s hope so. Anyways, to the dram at hand.
Nose: Quite nice and creamy, with fruit, and honey sweetness. Think of Vanilla ice with mango, apple and apricot on top, a touch of sugar and honey, even some strawberry sherbet. Quite the fruity whisky, i was not expecting from Benriach.
There’s also a hint of eucalyptus, and lemon, and some toasted barley.
Palate: Starts on Oak, and quite a lot of spice : ginger powder, cinnamon, clove, and fresh-baked cinnabons, with a dusty feeling to it as well: apple peel, and ripe apricot, with vanilla pods, and a nice touch of bitter oak in the end. Although it’s high on the abv, it’s very drinkable, but some water will help.
Finish: Vanilla, pepper, oak, drying with sugar icing, sweet and zingy with the ginger.
A very nice whisky, quite more fruitier than I had expected, but it goes well with the vanilla, spice and oak. Very drinkable even without any water. Quite rich and not one dimensional, but don’t expect miracles. Around £52, which is not that bad.