BenRiach 16. 46% ABV. Non-chilled filtered. No coloring.
Working through my scotch cabinet. Visiting this whisky seemed like a good choice, as it has gathered some positive attention. BenRiach 16 was named the best Speyside Single Malt at the 2015 World Whiskies Awards. Given how many distilleries there are in Speyside, this is an impressive recognition. I should note that the whisky that won this award was at 43% ABV, while the bottle I am sampling is 46% ABV. I suspect that mine is an earlier bottling.
The nose presents honey and a gentle peat that comes across a little like leather. On the palate, there is honey and peat followed by strong black pepper warming the mouth. As the pepper subsides, I find the taste of coffee beans, dark chocolate, and spice lingering amid light smoke. The finish is very pleasantly long, warming, with spice and some peat.
I really like this dram. It brings a smooth balanced mix that maps very well onto my taste preferences. I would like to try this alongside Glenfarclas 17, a long time favorite from this region.
I also find this to be a very good value for the market among similarly aged Speyside whiskies.