December 04, 2016
This week's review focuses on an expression of Benrinnes which was bottled by The Single Cask.
Benrinnes is a rather interesting distillery in the sense that while it was built primarily to supply bulk blending whisky for the various blends within the Diageo portfolio, it is also readily available and bottled as a single malt by both official and independent sources.
The whisky has been a component of blends such as J&B, Crawford’s 3 Star and of course, the Johnnie Walker range. This also means that the vast majority of the distillery’s production goes into these whiskies, leaving little room for a single malt whisky to be introduced.
For years, the only official bottling from the distillery was a 15 year old expression which was bottled under the Flora & Fauna label. In fact, it was more common to see a single malt bottling of Benrinnes from independent bottlers such as Douglas Laing and Hunter Laing under various labels such as Old Malt Cask and Old & Rare Platinum.
The character of Benrinnes whisky is seen as somewhat sulphury and meaty, which can be attributed to the use of old cast iron worm tubs in the condensation process rather than the use of the more modern copper condensation column seen in most distilleries today.
While the sulphurous notes tend to be transformed into butterscotch notes during the maturation process (or sometimes even disappear altogether), it does linger in some instances when the spirit has been matured in ex-sherry casks.
This expression of Benrinnes was sourced from a single refill hogshead which was filled in 2001 and left to mature for 15 years before being bottled by The Single Cask for their range of independent bottlings at an abv of 50%.
So, let's jump right to the review!
The Single Cask Benrinnes 2001 15 Years Old (50% abv)
Colour: Golden syrup
Nose: Perfumed on initial entry, with melons, grass and malt figuring quite prominently. There is a fair bit of sweetness which is derived from the malt and barley sugar as well as some allspice and oak. Brown sugar, light citrus and thyme all emerge after some time to round out a rather mellow nose.
Palate: Light, slightly sweet and spicy on the palate, with more of the allspice and brown sugar making an appearance along with some lime, black pepper and chewy malt. After some time, the nuttiness comes forth in the form of roasted macadamia nuts.
Finish: Medium on the finish, with barley sugar, oak, malt and some black pepper at the very end along with the roasted macadamia nuts.
Balance: A rather well-balanced and well-poised dram, which exhibits the smoothness of the spirit along with the various elements which make up the flavour profile. The elements work in harmony with one another and definitely contribute to the character of this dram.
This expression of Benrinnes is available for purchase by the bottle or by the dram for in-bar consumption as well as by the bottle for retail/takeaway purposes. For more information, please approach our friendly bar staff and they will be more than happy to assist you with any enquiries you may have.
The Single Cask
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