BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 2...

BenRiach Cask Strength Batch 2 (60.6%): Benriach Cask Strength's Batch 2 hit the shelves almost two years after the first release which was originally introduced in 2016 following Brown Forman's acquisition of Benriach, Glendronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries. It is an NAS bottling like the previous one and blended with whiskies matured in Oloroso sherry casks, ex-bourbon barrels and virgin oak hogsheads filled in 2006, 2007 and 2008. It is non-chill filtered and bottled in its natural color... This batch is the first one carrying master blender Rachel Barrie's signature after her move from Beam Suntory to Brown Forman in 2017.

Color: Bright polished copper with big, long and slow legs.

Nose: Stainless steel water bottle, fresh coconut and strawberry jam. Oloroso sherry, honey roasted cashews and honey-cinnamon syrup. Artificial vanilla extract and old hardwood furniture. Adding a few drops of water amplifies the metallic aromas but minimize the alcohol burn on the nose. Furniture polish and Aunt Jemima syrup.

Palate: Chili pepper flakes and prunes and dry dates. Very satisfying mouth covering creamy texture... Roasted peanuts and almonds. Cashew butter... Water adds custardy notes: Mexican flan, Portuguese custard tarts and fresh walnuts. Cracked white peppercorns, apple strudel and cinnamon dusting.

Finish: Long and nutty with toasted almonds and walnuts. Nutmeg and steamed milk. Dry with hint of bergamot peel and custard.

Overall: It's an incredibly nutty and custardy batch balanced with spicy and savory notes. I might be wrong since I don't have reliable notes but so far I remember Batch 1 was more summery and fresher compared to this batch. Surprisingly drinkable at bottling strength but opens up beautifully with a few drops of water. A very good batch from Rachel Barrie and as expected bold, syrupy and thick. Grab a bottle while you can... I very much liked it.

Price: $90