Category Archives: BenRiach

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 16 – Samaroli BenRiach 19yo, Cask 45763


Region – Speyside – ABV – 43%

When I started writing this post it was 1 day, 14 hours, 57 minutes, 33 seconds until Star Wars.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar 2015

On the nose — Red wax cherry lips, grape soda (even getting a sting in the nose like you would if you were to sniff a fizzy soda pop), fruity soaps (focus on the fruity and less on the soap), lipstick. Hints of stone fruits but they’re all a bit too overripe/overly sweet.

Normally I like perfumey, floral whisky but I’m not sure about this one. Time to taste.

In the mouth –Heavy malt character, decent mouthfeel, all followed with notes of cherry chews, lipstick (again), grandma’s perfume, a little cedar wood, more grape soda.

A little jalapeño jam on white bread.

Finish — Long and floral.

In sum — I’ve not met a BenRiach I haven’t loved until now. This one was not up my alley, I have to say. I hope that this whisky does not reflect what my experience of Star Wars Episode VII will be.

Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar dram # 3 – Samaroli Glentauchers & BenRiach, 19yo


Blended malt Scotch whisky – 43% ABV

SCOTCH WHISKY ADVENT CALENDARMy dirty little not-so-secret secret is that of all the independent bottlers out there, Samaroli is my favorite (albeit a bit on the expensive side here in the US).  Everything they do is quite intentional, and as an independent bottler myself, I find them to be inspiring.

When I saw this blended malt bottled at 43% I was intrigued to say the least.  Usually, I’m am turned right off at 43%, especially when it comes to independently bottled whiskies. However, this is Samaroli. I love them.  Plus, the combination of Glentauchers & BenRiach is quite intriguing.

The age is listed at 19 years old which will be the youngest whisky in the mix. I am not sure which one is 19 years old, and how old the other malt is.

Let’s just dive right in:

On the nose — Oh, wow. Ok. So, how do I jam my nose event further into the glass? Seriously, this one, dram # 3 in the Scotch Whisky Advent Calendar, has the best nose yet. I’m not sure where to begin. (at the beginning maybe?) Sweet diluted honey, baklava, gobs and gobs of malt, a fresh spring morning, rain on sarsaparilla leaves, a clear spring, honeycomb. Oak is present for sure and it gives you that “I’m an older whisky” note.  Sweet chamomile tea. Lovely, simply elegant and loverly.

In the mouth — The mouth is an exact replica of what I go on the nose with the addition of spice on the side of the tongue. I will say, the entry was a bit weak and would likely benefit from being 46%…

Finish — The finish is where it’s at. The building of spice combined with the honey and oak make for a great and lengthy crescendo.

In sum — If the ABV were slightly higher, this one could have qualified for being in my top ten drams of 2015. It was that good. ‘Nuff said.

Benriach 1998 15yr PX Finish (56.1%): A Jew’s Your Own Adventure Story


Today’s review was brought to you by the letters SK and the number 8.

The tasting notes are brought to you by Shane Helmick of and myself but the idea of posting this as a Jew’s Your Own Adventure Story was Shane’s idea.  Good on ye, Shane.

I don’t often share blog space or tasting notes with people but I was happy to do this with Shane.  He’s a fun dude with a fun (and funny) and informative blog.

Thanks Shane!

Now, dear reader, enjoy the game.  ’tis fun indeed!

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// game engine by s.r.helmick // notes by j.hatton and s.r.helmick //

Single Cask Nation hits Los Angeles and one of its destinations: Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach, CA


Do you live in California and in or near the Los Angeles area?

Well, then you need to come out to Temple Menorah in Redondo Beach to see us!

Not Jewish?  Don’t worry — it’s all about the whisky.  Come ye Gentile, Come ye Jew, Come ye all lovers of great whisky!!

(See below for details on date, time, cost, how to get tickets, contact info, etc…)

Jason Johnstone-Yellin and I will be there pouring all six of the Single Cask Nation whiskies (see the image below).


Whisky details:

  • Arran 12yo Pinot Noir Cask – 8yrs first fill bourbon, 4 years pinot noir, Single Cask, Cask Strength – Double Bronze medal winner (World of Whiskies tasting panel, International Whisky Competition)
  • BenRiach 17yo (peated) – 2nd fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength – Gold medal winner (International Whisky Competition)
  • Dalmore 12yo – 12yrs refill hogshead, 10mos PX sherry hogshead, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Glen Moray 12yo – first fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Kilchoman 4yo – first fill bourbon barrel, Single Cask, Cask Strength
  • Laphroaig 6yo – refill bourbon hogshead, Single Cask, Cask Strength

Details on the events (click the image to view/download a PDF of the event flyer):

Date: Sunday, June 30th
Time: 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Address: 1101 Camino Real, Redondo Beach, CA
Modest cost for the event: $40
Contact for tickets: Lee Zaro or Aaron Krouse, 
What else comes with the tasting event other than fantastic Scotch whisky from Single Cask Nation: Hors d’oeuvres, fun, education, raffles for Single Cask Nation membership (and more).  Not party hats, sorry.



Special thanks to LZ and AK for setting up this great event and thanks, too, to Temple Menorah for having us!

Happy 12-12-12!! To celebrate, get 12% off all memberships to Single Cask Nation!

From now through 12-14-12, enjoy 12% off when you purchase ANY membership to Single Cask Nation!
To take advantage of the discount, be sure to enter the following code into your shopping cart at 121212
SINGLE-CASK-NATION-12-12-12Happy 12-12-12!
Click here to learn more about Single Cask Nation and how to become a member (and what you get when becoming a member)