BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 is the classic unpeated Benriach aged for 23 years in a Marsala Wine Hogshead… and I’m excited about it. When Marsala is done right it can enhance a whisky and deliver something truly unique.
And that’s the question here. Will this Marsala cask join the memorable ranks of the Bushmills 25 yo Marsala? Will it be as effortlessly tasty as the Knappogue 12 Marsala? Or will it be just another cask-strength Benriach? Only one way to find out…
Now, let’s get to drinkin’!
BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 – Details and Tasting Notes
Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Style: Single Malt (Scotch)
Region: Speyside, Scotland
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Marsala Wine Hogshead
Age: 23 Years
BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 Price: $330*
BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 Tasting Notes
Nutty caramel, malt, cocoa, oak, candied citrus, dried dark fruit, bit of spice.
A more expressive aroma that delivers some nuanced spice notes.
Malt, cocoa, oak, dried dark fruit, caramel, nuttiness and some leathery spice.
The fruitiness really pops here and it ends up being something more soft and elegant than the 110 proof might suggest.
Long -> Dried dark fruit, malt, oak and spice.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Well balanced. full body and a soft oily feel.
BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 – Overall Thoughts and Score
There is a slight earthiness that ends up peeking out that intrigues me. On the top it’s a big, dryly sweet whisky, but add a bit of water, let it sit a bit, come back to it and… the nuances arrive. Earthy nutty tones, fruity sweet ones and some leathery spicy notes in between.
A bit of water takes what was once a straightforward whisky and turns it into a more intricate whisky with unexpected layers. I’m digging this BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 quite a bit and if it were in my price range I’d be snagging one so I could keep exploring what else it has to offer.
SCORE: 4/5 (good, definitely recommend ~ B+ | 87-89)
*Disclosure: The sample for this Scotch review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
BenRiach 23 Years – 1998 Cask 10297 Review