This is review #2 from my BenRiach distillery collection taster pack (HoS, 12, 16, 20). I’m fortunate to have a sample of the 12yo and 16yo that are at 43%, instead of the 40% I’ve seen other reviews based on. Maybe that’s what makes the difference.
Nose: Similar Jolly Rancher nose to the HoS, but green apple this time. The nose isn’t as open, but what comes at you, comes across as thick, almost buttery. In that way, it’s much like a Mortlach. It’s quite sweet, though, and in that way, it isn’t so much like a Mortlach. Barley and bread baking. A number of fruits I can’t figure out.
Palate: Medium oily, savoury and bitter with an indiscernable spice mix. Heavy on the olive oil on some type of french or italian bread. Very malty. Slightly fruity.
Finish: Short to Medium, mostly floral and fruity, and also nice and warming, a plus for a 43% ABV whisky. That said, BenRiach needs to work on this part.
Compared to the Heart of Speyside, I found this one a little thicker, more mature (as it should be) but the HoS had a liveliness to it that this malt doesn’t have. It’s also a tad sharp on the palate. I hope this is not the case with the 16yo.