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Benriach Authenticus Peated 21 year old Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)
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- ABV 46%
Only a handful of Scottish distilleries still make their own malt. One of them is Benriach. The maltings stand beside the distillery and twice a week the prize barley is delivered to be steeped, spread and raked until it begins to sprout. Gentle heat then works its magic and the raw grain becomes the essential ingredient of a Scotch Malt Whisky. Re opening in 1965 after a 65 year absence from the market, the Benriach distillery was virtually rebuilt by The Glenlivet Distillers Ltd. in 1985 and enlarged to four stills. Its product is highly regarded by blenders and has been available as an 'official' single malt bottling only since 1994.
Benriach "Authenticus", the big brother of "Curiositas" is limited to 4,800 bottles per year. It uses heavily peated malted barley as the cereal to produce a unique, fresh, peated Highland expression. The resulting whisky has wonderful overtones of peat reek, combined with a background of fruity, floral, heathery notes and an appealing presence of oak wood in the finish. This whisky is actually a return to the original Speyside character and flavour of malts typical around the nineteenth century, balancing the elements of both peat and estery sweetness.
The follow-up and older sibling to "Curiositas." I’ve been pushing for Speyside distilleries to bump up the peating levels of their malt they use for a long time because a majority of the spirits are big enough to handle the peat smoke, and this whisky proves my point. The tarry, peat smoke and bacon-like notes are a delight, and they are balanced nicely by a honey and apple pie sweetness. Spanish olives in brine, dark chocolate, golden raisin, and subtle spice round out the palate nicely. Not a heavy whisky, but pretty powerful stuff for BenRiach. So nice of the previous owners of this distillery to experiment with higher peating levels decades ago.
89 points - John Hansell, Malt Advocate
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