The BenRiach Distillery has produced unique whiskies in the Heart of Speyside since 1898. Now come four new expressions to the U.S. market: The BenRiach Horizons 12 Year Old Triple Distilled, The BenRiach Solstice 2nd Edition 17 Year Old, The BenRiach Septendecim 17 Year Old Peated Single Malt, and The BenRiach Authenticus 25 Year Old Peated Single Malt.
The BenRiach, meaning “The Hill of the Red Deer” in Gaelic, sits amongst the rolling barley fields that rise to the foothills of the Grampian mountains in the northeast Speyside region of Scotland. Acquired in 2004 by Scotch whisky industry veteran Billy Walker, The BenRiach is home to an inventory of casks that date back to 1966. Employing copper stills and using local Scottish barley malt, The BenRiach’s craftsmen strive to blend traditional practices with innovative cask finishes to create whiskies that are unique to the Scotch category.
“I’m amazed at The BenRiach’s ability to respect tradition while embracing innovation through their many whisky expressions, with these new bottlings adding exciting new depth to Anchor Distilling selection of single malts,” says Anchor Distilling Company Director of Education Alan Kropf.
The four new expressions join the 20 currently imported into the U.S.
Here’s a rundown of the four new whiskies:
The BenRiach Horizons 12 Year Old Triple Distilled (50% ABV, SRP $79.99) reflects the distillery’s innovations in whisky production. While most whiskies are traditionally distilled only twice, Horizons is distilled three times before it is aged for 12 years. The resulting spirit features a nose of roasted almonds and Brazil nuts, hot freshly buttered scones topped with clotted cream, and sweet heather honey; on the palate, Horizons has huge nutty characteristics balanced by a slice of sweet, creamy oak and honey.
The BenRiach Solstice 2nd Edition 17 Year Old (50% ABV, SRP $99.99) showcases the distillery’s ability to distill whisky from both styles of malted barley – peated and non-peated – and thereby capture the defining taste and aroma of peat reek. Like the first edition, Solstice 17 Year Old has been distilled from heavily peated malted barley before it is matured in ex-bourbon casks and finished in tawny port casks – resulting in a marriage of peat and fruit. On the nose, this Solstice features an aroma of stewed strawberries, blackberries and red currants, locked together by a muscular peaty blast, lending traces of fortified wine and grape qualities; on the palate, dry roasted nutty notes give way to heavy peat with subtle hints of dried raisins and candied fruit, culminating in a smooth, long finish.
The BenRiach Septendecim 17 Year Old Peated Single Malt (46% ABV, SRP $79.99) is the latest addition to The BenRiach Peated range. It is non chill-filtered and matured in ex-bourbon casks to create a bold and intense expression. On the nose, Septendecim is a robust mix of fresh peaty aromas constructed around a central core of apples and toasted nuts dowsed in wild mountain honey; on the palate, the peaty heart is united with honey-infused raisins, roasted nuts and a luxurious leather impression.
The BenRiach Authenticus 25 Year Old Peated Single Malt (46% ABV, SRP $249.99) completes The BenRiach Peated range in full-bodied, audacious style. On the nose, Authenticus exhibits elegant aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh mountain herbs and a profusion of sweet peat, producing a pungent blast of peat smoke; on the palate, the fusion of rich peat and smoldering embers are bound together by fresh herbs – oregano, aniseed and chicory – concluding with a rush of sweet, wild honey for a powerful, long-lasting impression.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.