Recently both Benriach and its sister distillery Glenglassaugh released a peated expressions aged in small quarter casks, both not bearing an age. AS you may well know, aging whisky in smaller casks allows for more interaction between the wood and spirit and according to the PR this was done to “generate “a great depth of flavor and aroma in a shorter period of time. So basically we have a younger whisky, bearing no age, aging in a smaller casks, and time to bottle is reduced. I am not against these sort of methods, as long as the whisky benefits from this “quick” aging, and feels mature enough. Will the Benriach Quarter casks deliver? Let’s see…
Nose: Wood smoke and vanilla with charred oak, a bit of peat reek and fruit- mainly peach and pear , cinnamon and moss, and some barley sugars. It feels rounded but still quite young.
Palate: Earthy peat and pears , Apple peel, nuts and bitter cocoa. It feels young, the peat is strong, there’s a bit if dirty peat there , pepper. Not much else.
Finish : Bitter dark chocolate , double espresso smoke and mocha.
This is a nice whisky, combining quite a bit of fruit and some earthy peat, and smoke, however It felt young, a bit too young for me I’d say. Yes, it’s fresh and the pear and and apple peel with the smoke are a good combination, but I find something lacking, and it’s a bit one dimensional. A summer daily dram.