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

July 27, 2016


Little trios, today Benrinnes

A fat, sometimes meaty spirit from Speyside! Not much else to say, let’s try to find three interesting (right, great) ones… For example, this new one by TWE’s The Single Malts of Scotland…

Benrinnes 24 yo 1991/2016 (52.6%, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #090508, 287 bottles)

Benrinnes 24 yo 1991/2016 (52.6%, The Single Malts of Scotland, hogshead, cask #090508, 287 bottles) Five stars Colour: straw. Nose: starts appropriately meaty and sulphury, which are desired and desirable aromas in this context. Then there’s a little chalk and fresh concrete, then lemon zests, and then a very interesting medicinal side, close to chalk and sulphur. Some kind of ointment, or a secret balm… That makes it really coastal, quite surprisingly. With water: very viscimetric ;-). Bags of chalk and lemons! I’d have sworn this was a coastal malt, and should you have said it was Pulteney, I wouldn’t have been surprised. Mouth (neat): love it. Chalky, mineral, lemony, with some paraffin and several oils. Grape pips, perhaps. And perhaps angelica, stewed rhubarb… With water: excellentissimo. Lime and lemon on a bed of rocks, clay, and a wee bit of vanilla fudge. Finish: quite long, very fresh, on candied lemons and assorted flavours. Comments: the meaty side was quick to disappear. My goodness, it’s perfect whisky, if you like them bright! SGP:642 - 90 points.

An older vintage please, let’s see… Oh this!

Benrinnes 17 yo 1985/2003 (60.2%, The Bottlers, refill sherry butt, cask #1852)

Benrinnes 17 yo 1985/2003 (60.2%, The Bottlers, refill sherry butt, cask #1852) Five stars I’ve heard The Bottlers were at it again, which is great news if that’s not only rumours. I can’t wait, but in the meantime… Colour: deep amber. Nose: oh! Old rusty tin box, a box of used matches, a collection of old rifles, some soy sauce, some beef stock, some natural beef jerky, and some roasted chestnuts. Totally and plainly oloroso-ish. With water: becomes vin-jaune-y (yeah yeah), with more walnuts than on a walnut tree. Some sulphur/basalt in the background. Mouth (neat): huuuuge. Rich honey, tobacco, Cointreau, raisins, Grisons meat, meat bouillons, bone marrow, walnut wine, crème de menthe, limoncello, Chartreuse… You see the picture. With water: and there, it unfolds on dried fruits, raisins, figs, dried pears… Finish: long, rich, coating, as if you’d have just quaffed a large glass of old Rivesaltes. Comments: I just cannot understand why I only gave 87 points to this around twelve years ago – while I didn’t write any proper tasting note (boo). It’s glorious old-style sherried whisky with a lot of oomph. SGP:552 - 91 points.

Perhaps an even older one, and we’re done…

Benrinnes 30 yo 1984/2015 (56.6%, Silver Seal, cask #2268, 480 bottles)

Benrinnes 30 yo 1984/2015 (56.6%, Silver Seal, cask #2268, 480 bottles) Five stars There’s a beautiful elephant on the label, let’s hope the whisky won’t be too pachydermic (lame, S.). Colour: white wine (eh?) Nose: rather in the style of the 23 yo, which the pale colour already suggested. Chalk, lemon, ‘good’ sulphur, clay, bandages, citrons, hints of eucalyptus, lamp petroleum, glycerine… Totally spirit-driven after all these years, that’s the… hey, that’s the spirit! With water: whisky chalkiness at its best. Mouth (neat): Mr Silver Seal, its not funny to bottle some old Clynelish under another name! Seriously, this is quite different, since there are all these sulphury/petroly notes that are not to be found in Clynelish (while Clynelish has got much more straight wax), but the ‘spirits’ are the same. Ha, spirit! Lovely notes of lemon oil, sesame oil, quinces… It’s perfect whisky, seriously, only good refill wood and a long ageing may give you this. Dazzling. With water: p.e.r.f.e.c.t.i.o.n. Finish: as I just said. Comments: I hadn’t imagined this baby would even beat the The Bottlers – in my book. SGP:651 - 92 points.

(Merci encore, Nicolas)

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







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