The Speyside distillery BenRiach has an odd history. Founded in 1898, it closed a couple of years later as the general industry took a nosedive in the wake of a scandalous bankruptcy at Pattisons, which had been sourcing considerable quantities of single malt to make blended whiskies. BenRiach would remain in mothballs for 65 years, its buildings serving only as a source of floor maltings for neighbouring sister distillery Longmorn.
Bullish times for the industry in the 1960s spelled a rebirth for BenRiach, which now makes a slew of single malts of varying ages and styles. This single-cask gem was triple distilled (versus Scotch whisky's standard double distillation) for a lighter, smoother base and finished its maturation in Pedro Ximenez sherry casks. Velvety and richly fruited, it displays a malty core with notes of stewed peach, caramel, vanilla and roasted nuts, then turns peppery on the long finish. Chewy and succulent, it's a luxurious treat for those who can afford it.