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Scotch

Benriach The Sixteen

$115.00

OVERALL
RATING

9

Whisky Review: Benriach The Sixteen

Tasting Notes:

About:
Aged at least 16-years. Three cask maturation in ex-bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak. 43% ABV. SRP $115.
Appearance:
A rich, bold bronze color.
Nose:
A floral nose, with cut stem and a bit of lightly watered dirt, in the best way. Dried Turkish apricots and crystallized ginger hover at the tip of the nose.
Palate:
that contributes to the quality control needed for such a reliable whisky. Benriach already has a 12 and 21-year-old single malt Scotch in the portfolio, and The Sixteen is a welcomed addition to bridge the gap. The whisky matures at a minimum of sixteen years in three casks including ex-bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak casks. Benriach distills in three styles – classic unpeated, Highland peated, and triple distilled – and has been a known quantity in the Speyside Scotch world since its founding in 1898. As much as I’ve enjoyed getting to know the whisky, I’m happier still to find consistency in each new expression, with distinct differences but also, possibly more importantly, similarities that help identify the Benriach high-quality standard. We review Benriach The Sixteen, recently reintroduced back to this Scotch distillery’s line up with a reformulated recipe. (image vie Benriach) Tasting Notes: Benriach The Sixteen Vital Stats: Aged at least 16-years. Three cask maturation in ex-bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak. 43% ABV. SRP $115. Appearance: A rich, bold bronze color. Nose: A floral nose, with cut stem and a bit of lightly watered dirt, in the best way. Dried Turkish apricots and crystallized ginger hover at the tip of the nose. Palate: With an oily mouthfeel and a somewhat metallic initial taste, the light whisky settles and coats the palate in a warming and comforting way. Warming spices and stone fruit share the space with citrusy notes as well as a somewhat savory element, and the whisky ends in a long, smooth finish.
Finish:
Comments:
As I said before, I have had the opportunity to taste quite a bit of the Benriach collection, and I found The Sixteen to be one of my favorites. It’s a nice sipper, could benefit from a splash of water but it certainly isn’t a must. I would (and will) enjoy this unpretentious whisky paired with some nice fresh sashimi on a cool spring day.

Editor’s Note: This whisky was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

I’ve had the opportunity to review quite a few of the recent Benriach Distillery releases and have found each new expression to offer different and unique tasting experiences, capturing the classic Speyside profile while offering something new and different within each new spirit. Benriach The Sixteen was retired from the distillery’s portfolio in 2016, directly after winning “Best Speyside Single Malt” at the 2015 World Whisky Awards, but has been reintroduced with a reformulated recipe more recently, called the “missing piece” to their single malt line-up.

Master Distiller Rachel Barrie says of The Sixteen, “The return of Benriach The Sixteen is a very special moment for the distillery as it is one of our most treasured expressions. Our signature Speyside style blossoms at 10 years old, finding depth and richer layers of orchard fruit character as it turns 16.”

I don’t know much as to how Barrie has determined sixteen to be the magic number, other than a clear understanding of the Benriach recipe and an unmistakable palate that contributes to the quality control needed for such a reliable whisky.

Benriach already has a 12 and 21-year-old single malt Scotch in the portfolio, and The Sixteen is a welcomed addition to bridge the gap. The whisky matures at a minimum of sixteen years in three casks including ex-bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak casks. Benriach distills in three styles – classic unpeated, Highland peated, and triple distilled – and has been a known quantity in the Speyside Scotch world since its founding in 1898.

As much as I’ve enjoyed getting to know the whisky, I’m happier still to find consistency in each new expression, with distinct differences but also, possibly more importantly, similarities that help identify the Benriach high-quality standard.

Benriach The Sixteen review
We review Benriach The Sixteen, recently reintroduced back to this Scotch distillery’s line up with a reformulated recipe. (image vie Benriach)

Tasting Notes: Benriach The Sixteen

Vital Stats: Aged at least 16-years. Three cask maturation in ex-bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak. 43% ABV. SRP $115.

Appearance: A rich, bold bronze color.

Nose: A floral nose, with cut stem and a bit of lightly watered dirt, in the best way. Dried Turkish apricots and crystallized ginger hover at the tip of the nose.

Palate: With an oily mouthfeel and a somewhat metallic initial taste, the light whisky settles and coats the palate in a warming and comforting way. Warming spices and stone fruit share the space with citrusy notes as well as a somewhat savory element, and the whisky ends in a long, smooth finish.

5 Sherried Whisky Alternatives

Here are my recommendations for those of you who want something sweet and luscious, but a little different in your glass this year. 

Jerry Jenae Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.

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