My next review, and first of a BenRiach whisky, is of the ‘big brother’ to the 10 year old Curiositas. The BenRiach ‘Authenticus’ is another peated expression of BenRiach but this time matured for a minimum of 21 years. Just 4,800 bottles of this 21 year old Authenticus are released annually.
Whisky: BenRiach Authenticus 21 YO, 46% ABV (Cost around R1800)
Region: Speyside, Scotland
Style: Single Malt
Age: 21 Years
The story of BenRiach – ‘the Hill of the Red Deer’, is typical of the great Speyside distilleries. Built in 1898, the distillery is sited amongst the rolling barley fields that rise to the foothills of the Grampian mountains. The barley used in crafting the whisky was grown around the distillery and the water was, and still is, drawn through the rock that lies deep below the distillery.
In April 2004, the distillery, which was previously under the ownership of Chivas Brothers, was acquired by 3 entrepreneurs (2 of which are South African), led by Scotch Whisky industry veteran Billy Walker. The BenRiach Distillery Company was then born.
Colour: Old gold with very slow, thick and long legs.
Nose: Lovely intense start of wood fire on a beach, complete with some seaweed and saltiness. There is a slight meatiness to it (bacon for me). It is also a beautiful clean and fragrant nose that has a vanilla sweetness to it, citrus fruits (lemon and grapefruit) and burnt brown sugar.
Palate: This palate is happiness in the mouth for that love a woody fire palate. There is a pleasant hot peppery spiciness on tip of tongue (but a smokiness as well). The palate is very clean, saturated with smoke, but still has a decent sweetness about it. This is more of a chocolaty sweetness.
Finish: Lovely long and lingering with peat smoke and sweet spiciness as well as a very warm ‘heart’.
Overall: A very well balanced, beautiful and enjoyable dram. It has that powerful peaty smoke exploring all of your senses that is balanced by the vanilla and chocolate sweetness with a citrus twist. A great dram to while away an afternoon or evening with.
My Score: 88