Review: Benriach “The Original Ten” & “The Twelve”

Photo courtesy of Benriach

It’s been a while since I’ve done a themed week here on the blog, so let’s bring it back. Our Benriach Week kicks off with two of their non-peated core expressions – The Original Ten and The Twelve. Both are bottled at 43% abv and 46% abv respectively, and have matured in three different types of casks. The Original Ten features whiskies matured in bourbon, sherry, and virgin oak casks, while The Twelve sees sherry, bourbon, and port casks.

The Original Ten

Aged at least 10 years, Benriach “The Original Ten” is a classic Speyside malt on the nose, full of lucious orchard fruit, vanilla, and sweet malt. Taste-wise, layers of honey and vanilla kick things off, followed by those nice orchard fruits. A little cinnamon spice creeps up on the back of the palate. The finish is short and carries over that fruit sweetness and spice.

Classic and unassuming, Benriach “The Original Ten” is a great introduction to the distillery’s orchard fruit-forward style. It’s also a fine introductory Scotch whisky for those bourbon drinkers looking to cross over. $53.99.

Photo courtesy of Benriach

The Twelve

With “The Twelve,” we’re getting into a richer, deeper flavor profile compared to its 10-year-old sibling. Two years and the addition of port casks really give this whisky some character. The nose is more concentrated and features hints of baked orchard fruits, nutmeg, maple, and oak spice. The palate showcases more fruit character, but it’s not necessarily sweeter. Deeper flavors of vanilla bean, oak, and a touch of nuttiness help round out the palate. The finish is medium in length, but big in flavor. It’s very much a baked apple dessert.

The slightly higher abv and two additional years of maturation advance Benriach “The Twelve” by several levels. More concentrated fruit notes and a bit more complexity certainly makes you want to keep the bottle handy for refills. The best part – this is only $6 more than the 10-year-old, sitting at a suggested retail price of $59.99. Highly recommended.

Next up in our series is the peated versions of these two expressions. You won’t want to miss that!

Thanks to Benriach for the samples. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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