1984 Benriach 27 Year Old K&L Exclusive Single PX Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Whisky (750ml) (Pre-Arrival)

SKU #1109361

While tasting through the cask samples at Glendronach, David and I noticed a few older barrels from Benriach as well, its sister distillery run by the same ownership group. We've really championed the former whisky, but Benriach has always remained in the background at K&L. We like the whisky, especially the fantastic new 12 year expression, but it had never lit a fire under us. However, when David noticed that one of the casks was dated "1984," our curiosity instantly peaked. During the early 80's, when Benriach was still owned by Seagrams, the distillery was known as an experimental laboratory, turning out all kinds of interesting malts, some of them heavily peated. We poured ourselves a sample, noted the rich sherry color, and suddenly the whiff of peat smoke tickled our noses. This was one of those storied whiskies - a PX sherry-aged peated whisky of 27 year old maturity with the same integration of richness and smoke that one finds in old Islay malts or the legendary peated Brora. In fact, David and I were so floored by the quality, we thought it was better than some of the older Lagavulins and Broras we had tasted. "No one is going to believe us if we talk that way," I said, but the truth couldn't be denied. This whisky is phenolic, oily, briny, supple, chewy, rich, raisined, and smoky. It hangs with the great aged island malts, but priced far below them. Easily one of the top three whiskies from the trip and destined to become a K&L classic. (David Driscoll, K&L)

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Price: $179.99
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Staff Image By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/19/2012 | Send Email
BenRiach is one of the most difficult distilleries to taste. There is absolutely no telling what you'll be getting. The story is incredibly interesting, the whisky is only interesting about 50% of the time. The problem with experiments is that they sometimes go wrong. The beauty is that occasionally you invent penicillin. This is clearly is the latter category. This peated sherry whisky at it's most excellent. Perfect balance between the sweet dried fruit of the PX barrel and the powerful smoke. While this is not Brora, it's about as close as you'll ever get under $200. Expect exotic wood, savory earth, morel, dried plums, powerful underlying smoke. A touch of water brings the earthy peat to the foreground. One of the most balanced examples from this wacky distillery.

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