Since 1898, Benriach has maintained a fairly low profile outside of its native Scotland, but that is by design. Thriving on its “hidden gem” status, the Scotch distillery’s elusiveness has helped keep its quality consistent and its enigma heightened. Now, for the first time ever, the Speyside native is formally introducing its lauded Cask Edition line to the United States with a set of three unique whisky expressions.
Not only are these whiskies Benriach’s first U.S. offerings from its Cask Edition line, but the three bottles are also exclusive to the U.S. market. For those who haven’t been fortunate enough to taste the distillery’s Scotch in the past, the trio of single malt whiskies offers a perfect sampling of Benriach’s eclectic styles, each bottled at cask strength and ranging from 12 to 24 years in age. They were drawn from individual casks hand-selected by Master Blender Rachel Barrie.
The 2009 12-Year was aged in a Pedro Ximénez Puncheon barrel, which brings out a golden color as well as notes of honey, butterscotch, sultana, and lemon curd. Aged in a Marsala cask, the 1998 23-Year bottle gives off a bouquet of an array of stone fruit, with orange, chocolate cake, and apricot on the palate. And finally, the mahogany-colored 24-Year whisky from 1997 was aged in an Oloroso Puncheon barrel, which gives it rich chocolate orange and hazelnut cake notes on the palate before giving way to dried apple, apricot, and raisin.
Each of the three bottles is currently available in a different region of the U.S. The 12-Year is priced at $100, the 23-Year at $330, and the 24-Year at $380. They are limited to 642, 264, and 641 examples, respectively, with each bottle individually hand-numbered.