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