The Benriach 22 year old Albariza is a subtle peated Benriach that has been finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry Casks. That could be a very nice combination if the balance is right. Now we do know that Benriach is able to deliver quality whisky, but it really depends on the type of finish or 2nd maturation they have used.
This Benriach has matured in ex-bourbon casks before being finish in PX sherry casks. Bottled at 46% ABV.
Benriach 22 year old Albariza tasting notes.
Nose: Subtle peat and tobacco leaves. Then dried fruit, like prunes and dates. Honey glaced stewed red fruits. Strawberries, cherries. And some sour grapes too.
Taste: Sweet red fruits, it’s actually slightly fresher then the nose suggests. Honey and rather sweet strawberries. This is followed by stewed apples and some cinnamon. Some smoky notes and ash.
Finish: The finish is mid-long and more peaty then in the taste, somewhat smoky. Smoked red fruits (never tried that but it does sound like some fusion cooking here…)
The peat works great in this whisky. It is subtle in the nose and more dominant in the taste. Even growing in the finish while the fruity notes work just the other way around. It is quite fruity in the beginning and that becomes less towards the end. I do think at some point it becomes quite overpowering but I do like this style. It is lacking some balance but it sure gives a nice surprise.