The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep,
and miles to go before I sleep.
It's worth mentioning that independent bottlers (IB's) are not just for the uber nerds of the whisky underground. Most IB's have a definite mission or vision behind their work. I am of the mind that SCN whiskies stand out because they don't just buy old casks or rare casks (the unique provenance of many IB's), but they specially curate their cask selection for unique whiskies that stand out from the pack. They are the Pandora Radio / Zite App of IB's, taking input from their members (usually straight from their members-only Facebook page) and bottling what they know we'll enjoy. Best of all, despite their affiliation with the Jewish Whisky Society, you don't have to be Jewish or a whisky expert to join. I am neither.
Don't take my word for it though. Before you deep dive into this Benriach, it's worth hopping over to The Coopered Tot to see what he thought of the whiskies a few weeks ago. Pay special attention to the differences in how he approached each bottling. Where I saw deodorant and pickles, he saw vidalia onion and dark, toothy oak. That's the joy of whisky, friends. We each approach it in our own way.
What strikes you after the age statement is the color of this particular Benriach: such a rich, lustrous gold, like a Yukon stream adorned with bright gold nuggets, heralding the rush you're about to experience. For the longest time I thought this whisky was among the most complex I ever tasted. It's certainly a tough bone to pick, but that's largely because of the way it assaults your senses. At its heart, I think its beauty is really a product of its simplicity. We have here a representative of the rare, heavily-peated Speyside, full of bright floral peat, rich tropical fruits, and classic oak. These elements come together in a way so beautiful you want to cry. Maybe it's the ash from this fire I'm sitting next to...
Well, you can't come all this way and not taste it. I've been catching up with it for days now, and yet now that I'm outside (camping trip) this is showing its truest colors so far.