The only 13 year old in the bunch is the Madeira finished Maderensis Fumosus, presumably because it needed a longer time in the finishing. I’ll be short in my general comments today and get right to the tasting notes:
BenRiach 13 Maderensis Fumosus, Madeira Finish (46% ABV, NCF, NC)
Appearance: Light gold, thin and quick legs.
Nose: Peat, wine, more alcohol burn in the nose than the rum finish. Half an hour in the glass is what you need to actually get the Madeira on the nose and to get it past the peat.
Palate: Peat mixed with wine forming a slightly mouth drying experience, that is not really connected to anything else going on. Alas, this dram really doesn’t come together.
Linger: Peat and dome dryness in a short linger. There isn’t that much more going on there.
This dram takes a very long time to develop, and still remains somewhat stunted. The nose and palate are very basic, with little development and depth.
As far as I know, there is quite a variety of fortified wines made in the Madeira Islands ranging from very dry wines from red grapes to incredibly sweet desert wines made from late harvest white grapes. I assume that Benriach have used a cask from a sweet Madeira here? The late harvest white grape Madeiras have sterotypical flavour notes of tin peaches, orange peel, burnt cane sugar, walnut and hazelnut oil. I don’t know how long they have finished this 13 YO which I believe was originally matured in Ex-Bournon American casks but I wonder how much of the Madeira character comes out in the Benriach, especially through all that peat?