BenRiach Horizons 12 y.o. Review

BenRiach Horizons 12 y.o.horizonsmood1

50% abv

Score:  89/100

 

Horizons was the counterpoint to the first edition of BenRiach’s Solstice.  Light…fruity…very vibrant.  While we loved the Solstice for its heavyhanded and brash delivery, this one is a much more restrained affair.  It allows the spirit to shine through a little more purely, and softens the edges of youth through a sweet Oloroso finish.  Being triple-distilled – in and of itself an anomaly outside of Ireland and the Lowlands (and yes, yes…Springbank’s Hazelburn) – also contributes to its exuberance.  Quite a pleasant and remarkable BenRiach well outside the standards of the range. 

This release was limited in number, much like the Solstice, but sat on shelves a wee bit longer than that one.  Not due to any sense of inferiority, I would argue, but simply because the Solstice was such a unique offering, being rather heavily peated and at least partially matured in a port pipe.  Yeah…it made for a slightly bumpy malt, but one I do cherish.

The duality of the Horizons/Solstice expressions provides a rather neat perspective on the capabilities of a distillery that is really coming into its own over the past decade or so.  The whisky is great…the marketing clever…the packaging lovely.  Did I mention the stocks of older malts that figure into the equation as special releases?

Nice young release from a rock solid distillery.

Nose:  Beautifully sweet and wine-rich.  A soft pillowy sherry note that can only be oloroso sweetness.  Bourbon-rich, big Maker’s Mark synthetic cherry notes.  Sour ju-jubes.  Cinnamon buns.  Nice spices and fruits coming together here.  I really like the nose on this one. 

Palate:  Sweet fruit candy.  Delicious deep spice.  Cadbury’s Galaxy bar on arrival brings an element of creaminess and smooth drinkability even at 50%.

I remember being kinda underwhelmed with this one first time ’round.  Liked it a bit more second time around (which was a hefty sampling session).  And still a little more this time.  I know where there are a couple more bottles of this one.  Think I’ll scoop one up before it’s too late.

 

– Reviewed by:  Curt

– Photo:  www.whiskyintelligence.com

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