Now, this is not my first introduction to BenRiach. Nope. A few years ago our our merry malt gang sampled the 16 year and then on a trip to Singapore in 2015, I went straight for the remarkable BenRiach 21 year (1988) 54.8%.
Both of these BenRiach avatars followed more of a ‘classic’ Speyside style and eschewed heavy peat. Not so the latin series – these are full on peat – and Septendecim is reputed to be an excellent example. I simply had to dive in!
BenRiach Septendecim 46%:
- Colour – Light straw
- Nose – Oh yum! If you want peaty, robust deliciousness, this hits the spot. Some sweet vanilla custard, cinnamon and nutmeg spice, cedar, a hint of citrus or apples yet overall light on the fruit element and heavier on the pipe tobacco quality followed by a drizzle of honey
- Taste – Sweet pipe tobacco, lotsa chewy leathery peat peat peat, some vanilla….
- Finish – Smokey, cinnamon and cloves, black pepper
- Water – Even sweeter, tames the flame but brings the smoke out even more
Definitely delivers a heavily peated, richer and more robust character.
The nose is quite superb – peaty perfection that is neither in your face nor holds back from giving you a chance to revel in it. However with such fabulous aromas, the palate is somewhat wanting… falling slightly short of what the nose promises. As it evolves into its finish, it goes up again several notches.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a solid dram and well worth sipping… it simply had the potential for ‘Wow!’ complexity and depth yet instead landed just shy of that. Might be worth a revisit though.
Here’s what the distiller has to say:
The new 17 year-old has been matured only in ex-bourbon casks and continues BenRiach’s quirky trend of using Latin names – such as Authenticus, Curiositas and Heredotus Fumosus – for its richly-peated expressions.
- Colour – The colour is rich summer gold with a freshly harvested barley impression.
- Nose – It’s full of energy and vibrancy – a complex mix of fresh peaty aromas constructed around a central core of apples and toasted nuts dowsed in wild mountain honey.
- Palate – It gives sweet concentrated peat flavours which dominate from the start. Bold and intense, the peaty heart is united with honey-infused raisins, roasted nuts and a luxurious leather impression.
Here’s what others say:
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