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BENRIACH Peated 1994 Year Single Malt
Good thing Billy Walker purchased BenRiach, since not too many distilleries will bottle a private cask of peaty Scotch for you. BenRiach has been experimenting with peated whisky for a couple decades, but the previous owner (Seagram) had no intention of ever releasing it to the public. So when Mr. Walker bought the place in 2003, he found a treasure trove of way-peaty Scotch. Here's one of them. Possibly the most impressive thing about cask 313—besides the body-slam of peat smoke it whams you with—is the amazing drinkability and openness it displays at full cask strength. It is tons of fun to taste this straight, even if it is a little better and certainly more complex with a splash of H2O. The other thing drinkers of South Shore Islay malts will notice is the lack of maritime salty seaweed medicinal notes; it's almost as if there is nothing standing between you and the freight train of peat barreling out of the bottle. I've provided two tasting notes. Take your pick...it's been nice knowing you.
GLENBURGIE 1994 Single Malt
Our third cask of Glenburgie continues in the fine tradition of the first two. Frankly, I can't imagine how this distillery stays so under the radar. For me, it's always a big-boned, creamy-oily-smooth Speysider with a lot of character. Drinkers of such full-bodied drams as Glenfarclas and Macallan would do well to spend a few evenings with the fat and full 1994 Glenburgie. As usual, Gordon & MacPhail's sherry cask complements rather than dominates the potstill character, which comes through loud and clear with a mouth-coating balance of fruits, gentle smoke, and big chewy malt.
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