"It's the classic, sweet, fruit-laden style of Benriach. Luscious orchard fruit on a base of beautiful vanilla cream and pastry, that for me is The Original Ten."
JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS
Benriach The Original 10 ScotchBOTTLE DETAILS
NOSE: Caramel | Corn | Spiced Cherries | Toasted Oak
TASTE: Rye Spice | Oak | Faint Sweet Honey | Green Apple
FINISH: Medium with lingering sweetness and some grain
SHARE WITH: While young, this is a blend to share with your “drink curious” not too judgy friends.
WORTH THE PRICE: I found Ingram an interesting expression. I am generally a Midwest Grain Products fan, and I like to support craft distillers/blenders with innovative ideas. With all that being said, at over $70 for a less than 4-year-old, sourced, blended whiskey, this would be a tough sell for me.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This whiskey is not a bust. It has interest and depth that you wouldn’t expect by its age. The blending is done well and with the innovative take on aging, I will give it a BAR rating. Try it first, if you can, before you buy. In the fifty dollar range, I would be tempted to go bottle.
OVERALL: O. H. Ingram River Aged Straight Whiskey, I found interesting whiskey. Aged in a floating “rickhouse” at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, in Ballard County, Kentucky. The theory being the gentle rocking of the barrels enhances the aging process. This process has its roots in the river transport of barreled distillate from Bourbon County delivered to New Orleans, with the transformed taste that apocryphally led to our native spirit. Does it make a difference? I have no idea, but there are a lot of people putting barrels on ocean voyages, riverboats, playing music to them, and even aging in cranberry bogs.
I have an issue with brands using invented or unrelated stories to support the “marketing” of their spirits. I don’t see that as an issue with O.H. Ingram. They have family history tied to the river and actually age on floating barges. They don’t hide the source, age, or mash bills of their product. Starting from typically quality rye and bourbon distillate from MGP in Indiana, aging for over three years and blended well, has produced a straight whiskey. It has a surprising depth for a young age. I found it drinkable neat, better with ice, but not particularly suitable for cocktails. My only issue with this product is the price, which is high for what it is. Understanding that the cost of sourcing and barreling probably drives this cost. If you find it in a bar, or you have the resource and drinking curiosity, I would not dissuade you from giving this one a try.
NOSE: Clementine | Cherries | Plum | Honey | Malt
TASTE: Apricot Preserves | Spearmint | Vanilla | White Pepper
FINISH: Vanilla | Honey | Spice from the bourbon casks | Much longer and warmer than I'd expect given the proof
SHARE WITH: Fans of Speyside Scotch. This is a strong example of the region with a relatively low price of entry.
WORTH THE PRICE: The range is between $40-45. I'd say that's very fair for a 10-year, single malt of this quality.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: At this price point, there are so many options for Speyside single malts. While this one is incredibly solid, I don't know that it separates itself, so I'd try it at a bar first to see if it's for you.
OVERALL: If you're familiar with Speyside scotches, imagine paying 8 extra bucks for a slightly more bold Glenmorangie 10. That's how I would describe this single malt. I always have a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 on my bar, and I prefer this bottle from BenRiach to it, because while the former's solitary sweetness makes it more suitable for dessert, I found the sweetness in The Original Ten to be more well-rounded with a bit of spice. I think if you enjoy Scotches from Speyside, this is one versatile dram - equally suited to dinner or dessert. Check it out, let me know what you think and don't forget to #drinkcurious!
Disclaimer: Benriach provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.