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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

December 2, 2013


Funny Benrinnes

Indeed in my experience Benrinnes is another 'funny' malt whisky, usually rather meaty but displaying wildly different styles depending on the ages and on the kinds of casks. It's often quite fat.

Benrinnes 2002/2009 (46%, Càrn Mor Scottish Collection, hogshead, cask #5)

Benrinnes 2002/2009 (46%, Càrn Mor Scottish Collection, hogshead, cask #5) Two stars and a half This one came in a 20cl bottle. I've found this series rather underwhelming but it's always pleasing to be able to taste near-newmake. Colour: almost white. Nose: apples, pears, porridge, beer and a little sunflower oil plus touches of barley water. It's not unpleasant, I have to say. After ten minutes, some Belgian gueuze beer. Mouth: sweet young malt whisky. Less fat and waxy than expected, rather on apple juice and a little orange. Same feeling of sweet beer as on the nose. Finish: medium length. Same flavours, apples... Comments: a pleasant drink, obviously immature but it could compete in the 'pot still vodka' category and possibly win. I like the fact th at this baby isn't oak-doped, it's not often that we can try some naked very young non-peater. No that wasn't a request. SGP:431 - 78 points.

Benrinnes 12 yo 'Stronachie' (43%, A.D. Rattray, batch #02/12, 2012)

Benrinnes 12 yo 'Stronachie' (43%, A.D. Rattray, batch #02/12, 2012) Two stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: this one's really funny! A lot of butter caramel at first sniffs, some white chocolate, some marzipan and then more and more very floral Swiss cheese. Meadows in summertime. The buttery side never stops growing while more honey (rather mead, actually) comes through, as well as wild mushrooms. I may be dreaming but that could well be horns of plenty. No I'm not joking. Unusual. Mouth: what was very nice in the nose is a little, err, embarrassing on the palate. Touches of rancid butter, cardboard, mead again (or Breton chouchen, and cider while we're at it), then a lot of fudge and caramel. Sticky toffee pudding. Finish: relatively long, buttery and rather maltier. Ovaltine in the aftertaste. Comments: so another funny/unusual one. I would put it in the same league as the Carn Mor. SGP:441 - 78 points.

Benrinnes 15 yo 1998/2013 (47,9%, Sansibar, sherry, 233 bottles)

Benrinnes 15 yo 1998/2013 (47,9%, Sansibar, sherry, 233 bottles) Four stars Colour: light gold. Nose: we have the same kind of slightly wacky nose as with the Stronachie, except that this 1998 has many more fruits and jams, which makes all the difference. Around greengage jam, maybe, citrons, cherries... Other that that, there's some fudgy notes again, some oils and waxes as well as a few drops of Chartreuse. Also a little beer, Ovaltine, Swiss cheese and butter again. An entertaining nose. Mouth: ah, the fun of it! This time we're finding one or two Toulouse violet bonbons, then malt, raisins, drops of armagnac and a little marmalade. Finish: long but much more acidic, in a way. Verjuice? It's very interesting to have a finish that literally wipes any fatty notes off your palate. Comments: this one was extremely entertaining and just for that it deserves one or two extra-points in my book. SGP:561 - 87 points.

Let's have another, older one...

Benrinnes 21 yo 1979 (61.5%, Chieftain’s Choice, +/-2000)

Benrinnes 21 yo 1979 (61.5%, Chieftain’s Choice, +/-2000) Two stars and a half This one could be 'even more strange'. Colour: pale gold. Nose: actually, it's not really strange, we're rather having a lot of alcohol, almonds and cut apples. That's the high strength, I believe. With water: a lot, and I mean a lot of paraffin and plasticine. And that's not saponification smells from adding water as they just wouldn't go away. Behind that, a superb lemon and apple pie, it seems! Sob... Mouth (neat): as thick as honey. Mint syrup, concentrated orange juice and grass. Cough, cough, this is really very strong. With water: very paraffiny again. Not obligatorily unpleasant but when there's so much of all that, well... Also barley water and almond oil again. Finish: long and grassier. Plasticine and citrons. Comments: one of the thickest bodies I've came across this year. There is some fun again in this. SGP:361 - 79 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Benrinnes I've tasted so far







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