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Affordable and delectable new whiskies to try this season

Looking for a new whisky to try? There have been some exciting whisky launches in the past few weeks. Picture: Pexels/Marianne Rixhon

Looking for a new whisky to try? There have been some exciting whisky launches in the past few weeks. Picture: Pexels/Marianne Rixhon

Published May 9, 2022

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Are you a whisky connoisseur looking for a new taste? If so, you are in luck as there have been some exciting whisky launches in the past few weeks.

No matter what your budget, there is a new whisky to try from this year’s releases which provide value for your money.

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Here are three of the most intriguing bottles of brown to hunt down this season.

Benriach Single Malt whiskies

Scotland distillery Benriach recently announced that its two single malt whiskies, the Benriach Twelve and The Smoky Twelve are now available in the South African market.

Known for its long-standing tradition of distilling classic, peated, and triple distilled whisky and a vast eclectic cask inventory sourced from around the world, the new single malts have been artistically crafted by master blender Dr. Rachel Barrie and her team.

The Twelve

The Twelve remains a sherry-rich single malt, building on the legacy of Benriach expressions released at this age using predominantly sherry cask maturation.

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The addition of port cask maturation to this new recipe has intensified notes of baked fruits.

To make it, the Benriach unpeated spirit is three casks matured for at least twelve years in sherry casks, bourbon barrels, and port casks.

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The whisky from each cask is then expertly married together to create a smooth, sherry-rich single malt layered with baked fruit, maple honey, and cocoa, perfectly balanced with a lingering sultana and spiced mocha finish.

The Smoky Twelve

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The Smoky Twelve has been crafted from a combination of unpeated and peated spirit, and three casks matured for at least twelve years in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, and Marsala wine casks.

The whisky from each cask is then expertly married together to create a smooth, creamy single malt, layered with ripened fruit, aromatic smoky sweetness, and warming oak spice, lingering into a cocoa and orange smoke finish, all in perfect balance.

Barrie says the new range perfectly marries tradition and innovation that is central to Benriach’s story.

“Inspired by the 1994 bottling of the Original Ten, with its fruit-laden complexity and smooth, rounded taste, the new range re-imagines the 1898 origins of Benriach, brought to life in the 21st century through fusing distilling styles with extraordinary casks. The new range is for those open to new possibilities, building on a wealth of experience and tradition,” she says.

The whiskies are available at participating retailers from R499 for The Twelve and from R699 for The Smoky Twelve.

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye whisky

This is another whisky that has just launched in SA. Woodford Reserve Rye is the third line extension to join the South African portfolio, which includes the original Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select and Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.

This ‘water of life’ is spicy with distinct notes of rye, black pepper, cedar, and cassia bark sweetened with a dusting of marzipan. Hints of pear, apple, and almond in its depths.

Flavour-wise it provides clove, rye, mint, and honey mingled with hints of apple and malt. Ambassador for Woodford Reserve Rowan Gibb, says whisky fans in SA have been eagerly awaiting the release.

He says when it comes to the craft of bourbon, the brand prides itself on maintaining an original and contemporary approach that focuses primarily on the adjustment of one of the five sources of flavour.

“To complement and emphasise the spice characteristics found in the original Woodford Reserve, the Rye uses a base that’s 53 percent rye, resulting in a liquid that’s both more balanced and refreshingly subtle.

“The brand is more than a spirit, it’s a spectacle with more than 212 detectable flavours. It’s more than bourbon. It’s a sensorial experience. Not only how it tastes, but how it smells, makes you feel and looks in a glass,” says Gibb.

The whisky is now available for purchase at selected retailers online via Makro and at Norman Goodfellows in-store at the end of May at a price of R449.95 a bottle.

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