N: Honey initially, with wet turf in the background. Some orangey citrus notes developing, with the fruit becoming more exotic with aeration. A pleasant earthiness, and some blackberry, apple and briar aromas emerge later. A silky malt presence throughout. Eventually some creamy chocolatey notes appear. Extremely promising.
P: As with the nose, sweetness first - then a big surge of peat. Immensely powerful presence in the mouth, with bonfire smoke, honey and a lot of pepper and hot spices jostling for attention. A real maelstrom of flavours.
F: Long, long, lingering warmth, with the smoke alternating between coal and wood, and the spices rattling along nineteen-to-the-dozen on a bed of sweet malt.
C: You can probably tell that I like this one a lot. An epic dram. It really beggars belief that Seagram managed to make such an arse of this distillery at a time when it was producing such tremendous spirit. Thank God for the more enlightened new owners and management. If they're sitting on a bunch of casks like this we are all in for a treat, and BenRiach will be re-established in the pantheon of the very best Speyside distilleries.