Man…so delinquent in getting this review done. I believe the new BenRiach Authenticus is now being packaged as a 25 year old whisky. This 21 year old no longer exists as a retail option.
So many whiskies…so little time.
Anyways…chances are you may still be able to track down a bottle or two of this BenRiach if you’re diligent and keep your eyes peeled. That ‘thrill of the hunt’ is part of the game, isn’t it? Every little cornershop ‘ma and pa’ liquor hawker potentially has some yet-unsold gems from yesteryear gathering dust at the back of the shop, right? This would be a great find. Especially considering the price was more than fair for a quality dram of this age.
While this 21 year old Authenticus was undoubtedly more affordable than the newer edition, I have no doubts BenRiach will have upped the ante in terms of quality as well price with the 25 year old. That really is saying something, as the release I am focusing on herein was really quite stellar. Aged BenRiach meets peat. How can that not be a winning combination?
I was prepared for a dram both fruity and smoky. What I wasn’t prepared for however, was such an incredibly farmy nose and depth of iodine. Very interesting, and certainly adds a unique dimension to this one. Deeply iodine-rich peat is generally a very coastal, or Islay, characteristic. It comes from the brininess in the decaying vegetation that makes up the bulk of the composition of the peat (think seaweed and saltwater drenched coastal foliage). More mainland peat tends to have a heathery, slightly meadowy note to it…softer on the medicinal edges. Goes to show…there’s always going to be some wonderful unpredictability in our water of life.
Nose: Heavily farmy. Leather and horse stables. Hay bales. Peat and smoke. Iodine. Damp earth. Oaky and aging. Mellow…very mellow notes of tropical fruits. Simply enormous peat reek and billows of smoke for a 21 y.o.
Palate: Gummy. Peat and pepper. Again…very barnyard-ish, in a good way. You’ll be coughing smoke rings for hours. Dried fruits…or maybe just the skins and peels. Mouth puckeringly drying and bittering. A little age showing…and that’s a good thing.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt