Sitting atop Benriach’s core range is “The Thirty.” This crown jewel of a whisky is crafted from the distillery’s old peated whisky stock by their master blender Rachel Barrie. Bottled at 46% abv, “The Thirty” features a four-cask maturation: bourbon barrels, sherry casks, virgin oak casks, and port casks from Douro Valley. After three decades, the peaty character of the whisky mellows down into something elegant.
The nose features a lovely subdued smoke, so it’s nowhere near as prominent as say Benriach “The Smoky Ten.” Cocoa, fig, plum, and burnt orange peel round out this rich smelling whisky. Taste-wise, dark fruit and raisin form the foundation here, with oak spice and dark chocolate hitting the mid-palate. After three decades of maturation, a little leather pops up on the back of the palate. The finish is long, continuing with the dark fruit and elegant smoke profile.
Benriach “The Thirty” is quite the special pour. As old as the whisky is, there’s still a vibrancy that flows throughout. The depth of flavor is quite impressive, as is the decision to use port casks in the construction of this release. Highly recommended. $739.99
Thanks to Benriach for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.