Review No.78. Benriach 12 Year Old

I find Benriach annoying.  Maybe this is partly down to a certain level of OCD and the need for order and structure but I find their product range very confusing so I am not even going to bother to try to explain it to you because I will only confuse you.  They have a number of ranges and malts of the same age but with different finishes.  I struggle to follow the logic and the story I am meant to be following with their range.  The progression from one to the other isn’t clear to me and it appears a but ad-hoc.  Anyway, this 12 year old is or was their entry level bottle I think. I think it has been discontinued.


Whisky: Benriach 12 Year Old Single Malt, 43%

Nose: Floral, honey, grass, strawberry, caramel

Taste: Malt, vanilla, grass, dark fruits, tannins

Finish: Sherry spice and oak bitterness

Score: 2.75

Summary: This is pretty much a standard speyside style malt.  The aromos are pleasant and the aromas translate and progress onto the palate quite nicely. However, I found that the tannins from the barrels took over too much towards the aftertaste and finish.  I find that this can sometimes work with some malts but here it does not in my opinion.  A drop of water helped but could not rescue the finish.  I don’t want to be too harsh on this because of that because what preceded the finish was good. I may seek out more from their range, if I ever get my head around it.


Scoring scale: My scores reflect a balance of the overall experience, availability and cost for a whisky,

1 – not to my preference

2 – tastes fine but does not excite me

3 – more to my liking and would revisit occasionally

4 – very much to my liking and would consider as a regular feature on my whisky shelf

5 – permanent feature on my whisky shelf


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