Review: BenRiach 22 Year Old Moscatel Wood Finish

I’ve got quite a few BenRiach / Glendronach I need to review, and this one is the first in a series of reviews. This is a 22 year old BR , originally matured in American bourbon barrels before being finished in Moscatel wine casks from Portugal and Spain. This finishing period has imparted a rich, fruity sweetness to the whisky, which I think works well with the BR DNA..

Nose:  sweet dark fruit, dried fig, sate and maybe a hint of prune as well, some freshness comes from candied oranges orange marmalade,and a touch of cocoa. Rich and quite fitting for ‘Tu bishvat’ (Jewish holiday of trees in which we eat quite a lot of dried fruit..)
 
Palate: rich and sweet. A lovely oily mouthful, with honeyed nectar – more dried fruit (date, fig) ,as well as wood spices, ginger powder and pepper. There’s a
some old leather and a nice oakiness, and an earthy touch. Complex, and rich. Very good stuff.
 
Finish: fruity, lovely oak, spices and cocoa. Long and brilliant
 
Conclusion:
This feels like a great American ex-bourbon barrel, which imparted its lovely flavors, before being finished in the Moscatel. It’s not a sort of finish to ‘hide’ blemishes or so, IMHO but the Moscatel does add a nice fruitiness, making the whisky even better. Really good combo here, and although it’s not cheap – I highly recommend it. Another cracker from Benriach!

Score: 89/100

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