Last night I delicately expressed some annoyance at the third appearance of a distillery (Springbank) in a 24-day Advent calendar. Consider that foreshadowing for tonight, when it happened again. At least the Springbank whiskies were split between three different sub-labels, but tonight’s whisky completed a one-label BenRiach trilogy: first there was BenRiach 16 back on Day 2, then there was BenRiach 20 on Day 11, and now there’s the hilariously named BenRiach Septendecim, a 17 Year Single Malt from Speyside. “Septendecim” is Latin for “17” and continues a calendar tradition of whiskies being given extraordinarily wordy and complex names for no particular reason. It certainly got my attention.
The coolest thing about the Septendecim (which feels like it should be written in capital letters at all times – SEPTENDECIM!!) is that its a (heavily) peated whisky from Scotland’s Speyside region, an area that is almost never known for peat. The other two BenRiachs in the calendar are much more typical Speyside, light and sweet and clean as a whistle. This one is flat out dirty: you can smell the peat even as you’re pouring the first glass. It also has my eternal gratitude for not letting a single drop of whisky touch a sherry cask — this is all ex-Bourbon barrels all the way. Finally. Read the rest of this entry »