BenRiach Solstice 2nd Edition 17 Year

Peated Single Malt

BenRiach // Speyside, Scotland

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    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Nose: Pungent and assertive, hefty peat, fruity and well-rounded notes of red berries, cloves, aniseed and orange zest. The peat-smoke never loses the upper hand but it remains well-balanced. As it develops in the glass the smoke intensifies at first but then as you become used to it, it seems to fade and the winey-berry-spice facet dominates. Adding just enough water to drop the abv to about 45% does no harm at all. It removes the "prickle" of highish ethanol and allows the fruity elements to come forward. Excellent both neat and watered. [The dry glass is all earthy peat-smoke]. Palate: Big intense arrival - sweet, peaty and fruity with expansive berry notes again. It's a commanding entry but again I found it quite well-balanced and enjoyable at neat strength. There's a richness to the palate that is almost meaty (reminiscent of bacon - a hint of saltiness) and the texture is full and rounded. Some tannins creep in during the mid-palate but they are polite and well-behaved, contributing a chocolate character. There is a little gingery spice but it's not a hot palate at all, just intense. Adding a little water blooms the sweet and fruity aspects considerably and modulates the peat smoke without spoiling it. Dilution is well recommended. Finish: Long. The sweet tannic undercurrent slowly fades and ashen Speyside-style peat reek echoes into the distance. The aftertaste is of cold lapsang souchong tea. Water again slightly sweetens the aftertaste but it remains enfolding and long with the tea character moving more towards creosote. Intensely peaty, unusually so for BenRiach - this profile is moving slightly more in the direction of Islay peat-reek than Speyside smokiness. Indeed, it occasionally brought both Caol Ila and Kilchoman to mind, but it's not at all medicinal. The official rating here is pretty much on target but I don't agree with the official comments. I also noticed after I'd written this that David Broom on Whiskey Advocate didn't think much of it. Fine, I've never thought much of his reviews. Many thanks to @Soba45 for the tasting sample. The price I've quoted is for when it was last available, as an indication. What a pity it's no longer around - I'd buy a bottle without hesitation. "Very Good" : 4 stars
    165.0 AUD per Bottle
  2. Soba45

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    I really don't like having to many bottles open. With all the other sampling they often take a while to get through and whilst initially improve after a few months open generally start to go down hill after that. I made an exception and busted this one out as amazingly I can still get more bottles so I wanted to see if it was worth the $110USD. Definitely is the answer, I'll place hold at 4.5 for now but it's shaping up to rise higher I think. I really love the peat port combo. Not quite as much as sherry peat but close. This is very well done and along with the Benriach 18 Albariza, Johnnie Walker Blue Label Port Ellen & Rare (Ghost & Rare), Kavalan Solist Sherry Cask Matured, Benriach 22 year Moscatel wood finish, Talisker 8 Year Old (Special Release), Glendronach Cask 2683 - 24 year 1991, Booker's 6 year True Barrel Bourban Batch 2107-01E, Woodwinters ‘Isle Solera’ 16 Year Old, Batch 1 35 years old (That Boutique-y Whisky Co.) round out my top 10 whiskies for 2019 - yup I'm calling it early this year! Update Jan 2020: I'm thinking rather than going up it's going the other way the more I drink it more a 4.25
  3. Daan

    Tasted
    4.5
    4.5 out of 5 stars
  4. MarkusS

    Tasted
    4.75
    4.75 out of 5 stars
    almost as good as the 15year solstice
  5. Ketilskau

    Tasted
    4.25
    4.25 out of 5 stars
    70.0 USD per Bottle
  6. Nate-Cho

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  7. Generously_Paul

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Review transfer from Barreled from January 2017. This Benriach is the second edition of their heavily peated tawny port finished limited releases, replacing the 15 year first edition. It weighs in at 50% ABV, is non chill filtered and a natural color of amber bronze. Big earthy peat on the nose. This is not to be confused with Islay peat, which is briny, medicinal, and tarry. This is more vegetal. Think forest vs sea side. Huge fruity notes. Red berries and dark stone fruits like plums. If you can let this sit long enough for the peat to fade there are lovely notes of sweet BBQ, oak, sweet red wines, and new leather. Very complex and I could nose it all day. The palate was much more intense than I expected, but at 50% ABV I should have been ready for it. Slightly hot and spicy at first but it does settle down nicely. BBQ pulled pork/chicken, grilled fruits. Big peat smoke, but also wood smoke like smoldering mesquite or hickory chips, and of course oak. The mouthfeel is a bit hot at first, but only briefly. Oily and intense. Mouthwatering initially but turns slightly dry. The finish is medium long with more sweet BBQ and peaty goodness. I wish I would have known about this whisky when it hit the market. I would have bought 2 bottles in a heartbeat. It's a real shame that something this good is a limited release. These port finished scotches are quickly becoming my drink of choice, and it really seems to lend itself well to peated scotches, more so than non peated ones. If you happen to see a bottle somewhere, just take out your wallet, pay for it, and thank yourself later. 5 stars and a big thanks to @LeeEvolved Cheers Addendum: I did find a bottle and I am saving it for a special occasion. It’s a real beauty
  8. Kknobbs

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  9. behemoth26rus

    Tasted
    5.0
    5.0 out of 5 stars
  10. MajorHop

    Tasted
    4.0
    4.0 out of 5 stars
  11. Results 1-10 of 38 Tastes