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

June 12, 2014


The Short Sessions,
two heavy micro-Benrinnes

Micro because they’re from micro-batches of just a handful of bottles. A recent trend, it seems…

Benrinnes 14 yo (57.80%, Lady Of The Glen, 2013)

Benrinnes 14 yo (57.80%, Lady Of The Glen, 2013) Three stars and a half Colour: amber. Nose: it is coffee-Schnapps(li), and there’s a little gunpowder too. Kirsch and struck matches in Italian ristretto. Also some chocolate. Not a bag mix, it’s just very segmenting, as some say. More raisins after five minutes, while the gunpowder’s vanished in the air (or, as often, has been filtered out by your olfactory equipment. With water: woosh, all gunpowder’s really gone now. We’re left with lovely notes of chocolaty raisins – or raisiny chocolate, as you like. No, wait the gunpowder’s back after five more minutes. A gun that was just used. Mouth (neat): very rich, slightly smoky, full of orange liqueur and pretty honeyed, this could be date arrak at high strength! A little monolithic but it’s a pleasant style. With water: notes of waxy cardboard, which are related to that gunpowder. No embarrassment whatsoever in this context. Finish: long, rich, with smoky oranges. And what’s in the aftertaste? That’s right, gunpowder. Comments: a little quarrelsome, and quite spectacular. Good recipe, I think. SGP:552 - 84 points.

Benrinnes 13 yo (53.3%, Master of Malt, Darkness series, PX finish, 2014)

Benrinnes 13 yo (53.3%, Master of Malt, Darkness series, PX finish, 2014) Four stars Colour: dark amber. Nose: this is something else. It’s even bigger, but it’s much better balanced, rounded, hugely raisiny, with an obvious bourbony side (new US oak), pencil shavings and eucalyptus syrup. It’s an unusual style in Scotchland, we’re kind of halfway between the US and the British isles. Could that be the Azores? With water: some tar coming out, earth, pitch, peat (I mean raw peat straight from the garden centre, not smoke). No over-sweetness from the Pedro, that’s cool. Mouth (neat): Buffalo Trace! No, seriously, it’s got the punch, the sweetness, the roundness and the spicy side of many a rich bourbon. I even find touches of rye, mind you. With water: must be the oak, because we’re still in Kentucky, in a way. Even Benrinnes, which is a fat spirit, hasn’t a lot to say. Like the notes of walnuts and roasted chestnuts. Finish: long, dry. Black tea Russian style and assorted pipe tobacco. Comments: a lot of fun in this big fat baby. SGP:462 - 87 points.

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







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