Sunday, 6 April 2014

Benriach "Heart of Speyside"

As the snow continues to melt and the temperatures rise I feel my mood escalating and that old elation at the thought of summer kicking in. Right now is affectionately known as mud season here in the Yukon. This is likely to be the reality for at least another few weeks. Still sitting here at almost 9:00 PM with sunset not even begun has a pretty positive effect on the spirits. Speaking of which today's post is going to feature the Benriach - "Heart Of Speyside" accompanied by The Who: Who's Next.

I am not familiar with Benriachs' whiskies. I do know that they like to experiment a lot with their expressions and often use funky sounding latin names for their releases. This particular whisky apparently took its name from the fact that the distillery is located in the heart of the Speyside region. I have heard good things about the Curiositas and the Importanticus Fumosus. I will continue to look for those bottlings. At this time I have this expression available to me and this is their flagship bottle. 

The Who are known for their brilliant live performances where they trash the stage. They are also known for their hard rocking unforgettable songs. They are less known for their softer melodic music... at least by me. This album really showcases Roger Daltreys' great voice and singing talent. One of my favourite works by this group is Tommy. This album was later released as a  film staring Roger Daltry as Tommy. The rest of the cast features many other notable performers such as Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John, Tina Turner, Eric Clapton and Jack Nicholson. I just mention this other work because I think it showcases eclectic nature of this band. Eclectic like the range of whiskies released by Benriach. 

Now on to the dram.

Nose:  On the nose this whisky almost reminds me of an "un-aged" whisky. It is like unbaked bread with slight floral notes. There is also a bit of green apple and just the faintest whiff of smoke.

Palate: The palate is loaded with wood and grape. I detect a note of perfume at the end.

Finish: A long finish with a slight citrus tang. The grape becomes honeyed. At the back of the finish is a bitter medicinal taste, like when you are trying to swallow an aspirin and you can't quite get it down fast enough.

That is certainly a different whisky than I have ever tried. The youth of it comes through in the bread like nose, and grape taste. Right up to the last fading of the finish I was impressed... until that bitter note struck.  

What I will leave this at is that this quiet, soft spoken whisky didn't seem to have much to say; however, paired with the rock of The Who this whisky in all its youth found its voice. I don't know if that is a testament to the power of The Who or if I'm actually on to something here with this whisky and music pairing concept. Can certain music make certain whisky better? Can certain whisky make certain music better? The truth is out there.     

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