Review: BenRiach 17 Year Old Solstice (2nd Edition)

Friday, June 19, 2015


This weekend I'm at the Whisky Solstice event in Edinburgh so it seems a perfect moment to review the recent release from BenRiach of the same name. Thanks to the Jolly Toper for the sample of this whisky.

This is the 2nd edition release with the original being 2 years younger and I suspect we'll (fingers crossed) have more in this series as the remaining casks age. BenRiach is a distillery that is doing things the right way; the way ideally I'd like to see distilleries operate and produce their whisky. Many talk about heritage and being faithful to the old ways, but when you taste the whisky you know you're looking into the realm of a liar, or marketing as its known today.

Distillery: BenRiach
Bottled:  at 17 years old
Strength: 50%
Price: around £59
Additional: heavily peated finished in a port pipe

Colour: a used pizza stone

Nose: it suggests heavily peated but it's a lovely sweet peat that greets you like an old friend with salty seaweed notes and husky autumnal elements . Lots of sweet aromas with oranges, grapefruit and fresh vanilla pod. 

Taste: a lovely balance with the earthiness of the peat and the fresh vibrancy of the cask. Vanilla once more, roasted coffee beans and dark chocolate.

A thumbs up overall and well priced, especially when the Islay peated whiskies are taking advantage of their geographical placing and bumping up prices. Islay distilleries never had the monopoly on peated; rather mainland distilleries moved on as trends dictated. So its great to have more peated choices on the shelf and this is a recommended alternative. 

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