Archive for the ‘Benrinnes’ Category

Claxton’s ‘The Single Cask’ Benrinnes 1997 (19 year old) 51.5%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: Aug 1997 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Apr 2017

The nose is quite mature and sawdusty with vanilla, white chocolate, sweet honey and sweet spice. The sweetness becomes quite dominating and candied, which turns into a sort of raspberry mousse note with rose petals and voluptuously creamy oak. Late herbal, onion skin notes. Very unusual.

The palate is full and honeyed with plenty of sweet oak and again that raspberry mousse-like character. The alcohol stops it becoming too sweet, but it’s pretty confected. Long with a touch of bitter chocolate spice, liquorice, pepper and finally the returning sweet oak. It’s like ‘toshan on steroids!

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Gleann Mor ‘A Rare Find’ Benrinnes 1995 (18 year old) 46%

Refill Port/ Dist: 1995 Btl: 2014/ Tasted: June 2017

The nose is subtly herbaceous with polished, soft and creamy/ sweet port fruit. With time hints of dusty oak vanillins and violets appear along with a light barley note, but it’s the cask that dominates.

The palate is quite sweet and syrupy with subtle chocolaty spice, herbs and subtle spicy red fruit. Beneath the mature oak vanillins and barley can be detected. Long and very juicy with lingering sweet porty fruit and dusty oak. You could argue it’s a bit one-dimensional but it delivers that simplicity rather well.

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Benrinnes 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

A pleasant nose of dusty barley, rye-like herbs and no shortage of oak. The oak begins to really dominate the nose and it becomes sweeter and develops a vanilla custard note.

Slightly crisper and still quite herbal and still quite oaky to begin with. Slightly coffee’d, a little bitter and dry. The alcohol is a little intrusive as well. However once the creaminess of the oak subsides hints of baked fruit comes through. Good length, continuing herbal but a little dry and austere.

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Benrinnes 2008 (8 year old) 46%

First Fill Bourbon Hogshead (ex-Jim Beam)

Dist: 2008 Btl: Feb 2017/ Tasted: Jan 2017

The aromas have first fill Bourbon stamped all over them. Big, buttery, toffee’d and fragrantly vanilla’d. Maybe there is a hint of barley, but the oak dominates.

The palate mirrors the nose. It’s basically oak city, although a touch of citrus and barley does force a way through the oak on the middle. Dry finish with a little rose petal marc, as the very young spirit finally appears

Flora & Fauna Benrinnes 15 year old 43%

European Sherry/ Tasted: Apr 2017

Aromas of moist fruitcake and dried sherry fruit. Hints coffee, prune, walnut and aged Armagnac-esque notes. Gritty but soft tannins and with time hints of heather and dusty spice. There’s a very faint sulphur nte hiding in the background.

The palate mirrors the nose. Heavy on the sherry and light on the spirit character. Mature and soft with chocolate, prune, walnut, dried fruit and light coffee’d tannins. Straightforward but pleasantly deep with oxidized fruit and wood notes on the finish. The after displays a touch of minerals and light treacle

Benrinnes 1992 (21 year old) 56.9%

European Sherry

2014 Special Release/ Tasted: Apr 2016

Big, spicy and slightly sulphured Oloroso sherry on the nose. Green nuts, peanuts, dates, malt and treacle follow.

The palate is awash with herbal sherry, green nuts and again a touch of sulphur. Slightly bitter, dry tannins on the middle with malt and treacle. Seriously bitter and alcoholic finish with lingering green nuts.

Water unfortunately emphasises the sulphur and bitter, coffee’d tannins. The palate is still nutty but softer. Still quite bitter but there’s a little more balancing fruit. Still rather dry on the finish and still sulphured. You would have though that given the price tag (£240) they would have avoided any sulphur tainted casks!

Carn Mor Strictly Limited Benrinnes 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Bourbon Hogshead/ Dist: 2008 Btl: 2016/ Tasted: Apr 2016

A pleasant nose of dusty barley, rye-like herbs and no shortage of oak. The oak begins to really dominate the nose and it becomes sweeter and develops a vanilla custard note.

Slightly crisper and still quite herbal and still quite oaky to begin with. Slightly coffee’d, a little bitter and dry. The alcohol is a little intrusive as well. However once the creaminess of the oak subsides hints of baked fruit comes through. Good length, continuing herbal but a little dry and austere.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 1998(?) (15 year old) 50%

Code: OMC2435/ Dist: 1998(?) Btl: ?/ Tasted: Nov 2014

A beautiful nose of dense, dusty barley and thick, herbal honey. The barley has a lovely sweetness and there are hints of fauna and herbs. With time hints of boiled sweets and perfumed flowers emerges.

The palate is full and robust. The honey liberally cotes the mouth. Dusty spices mingle with dusty oak and a touch of citrus comes through on the middle with a light herbaceousness. Wonderfully balanced and long with the citrus and mineral notes lingering along with that honey.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 1995 (19 year old) 50%

Bourbon/ Code: OMC2386/ Dist: May 1995 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

A herbal and malty nose with bake fruit, succulent honey and a light sherbet dusting. Grainy rye-like spices emerge along with a slight floral note and some buttery oak. Quite sweet but fairly appealing nevertheless.

The palate is fuller than the nose suggests with malt, coffee soaked baked fruit and soft earthy (slightly musty) spice on the middle. Short and a little tart with a lightly coffee’d after-taste.

Hunter Laing Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 1997 (19 year old) 50%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: OMC2626/ Dist: Oct 1997 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: Mar 2017

The nose is a little hot and straw-like with white fruit, barley and hints of strawberry and raspberry boiled sweets. With time there’s even a decaying rose petal note. One gets the impression that this is a bit too old.

The palate opens with some pleasant white fruit, citrus, barley, sweet oak and sweet berry notes. The balance is better, but it still has a slight confected character. Hot and tart finish with a light chocolate-malt after-taste.

 


Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2009 (6 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Quarter Cask Finished

Code: HEP0108/ Dist: Jan 2009 Btl: Sept 2015/ Tasted: Oct 2015

Quite an earthy and manure nose with plenty of sherried dried fruit, cinnamon and liquorice.

The palate is full and sherried with liquorice, dried plummy fruit and citrus. In fact the middle is very citric and cleansing but the treacly sherry returns along with a touch of burnt wood.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2009 (6 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Quarter Cask Finished

Dist: Jan 2009 Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0106/ Tasted: Nov 2015

Aromas of thick, herbal, treacly sherry with hints of smoke and citrus. Huge slabs of malt, prunes and walnuts with a light balsamic and creamy coffee note.

Soft and coffee’d on the palate with pruney, winey, thick and malty sherry. Hints of dark toffee and lightly bittering spice appears. Medium length with succulent orange notes amid the bitter, drying wood notes.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2009(?) (6 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Dist: 2009(?) Btl: Oct 2015/ Code: HEP0107/ Tasted: Nov 2015

A sulphur and brimstone nose with burnt earth and toffee. Hard and unyielding, lightly herbal with raisinated fruit.

The palate is hard and not quite as sulphured as the nose with raisinated fruit, prune and walnuts. Short, hot, sulphured, bitter finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2010 (7 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: HEP0266/ Dist: Feb 2010 Btl: 2017/ Tasted: July 2017

Aromatic barley, honey and sweet on the nose with a touch of citrus, herbs and an underlying mineral crispness. With time the white fruits taken on an Alsace-like quality.

The palate opens with granulated sugar coated white fruit and apricot. In fat it’s very sweet and sugary with sweet barley, sweet oak and more sweet fruit. The alcohol enhanced citrus and mineral notes come through on the middle and offset most of the sweetness and stays the same through the finish, although the granuated sugar notes creep back.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2002 (11 year old) 46%

Code: HEP0037/ Dist: Dec 2002 Btl: June 2014/ Tasted: July 2014

Sharp citrus aromas to begin with followed by grainy oak and a touch of macerated summer fruit and barley. With time the oak becomes quite fragrant and creamy.

The palate is light and oily with caramel, toasted toffee and hints of barley. Pleasant citrus twist on the finish.

Hunter Laing Hepburns Choice Benrinnes 2002 (11 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: HEP0008/ Dist: Dec 2002 Btl: ?/ Tasted: Sept 2015

Edgy herbal honey with boiled sweet sherry aromas. A touch of ‘Toshan-like rose Turkish delight appears along with some fragrant smoke. It becomes rather sweet with time.

The palate is earthy with a slight spritzy lemonade like character, which is a little odd. Slightly industrial with hints of barley and spice. Medium length with the industrial notes lingering with some Turkish delight attempting to soften.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Benrinnes 2008 (8 year old) 46%

Refill Bourbon Hogshead/ Code: PRV1171/ DL11072

Dist: Feb 2008 Btl: Mar 2016/ Tasted: May 2016

Initially quite high toned on the nose with hard barley. A touch of honey and green citrus attempt to balance but some ‘off the still’ oiliness begins to appear along with some cereal and malt biscuits.

The palate shows a better balance between the sweet honey and tart citrus. Hints of white fruit, grass comes through. A little short, hard and hot with lingering spice and youthful, spirit notes.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Benrinnes 2004 (11 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV1136/ Dist: Mar 2004 Btl: Mar 2015/ Tasted: Apr 2015

An industrial and lightly cardboard nose with hints of barley.

The palate is softer and slightly citrusy with hints of nutmeg and earth. There is some cardboard notes in the background though and a touch of oily dried fruit on the finish, Short, slightly sweet after-taste.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Benrinnes 1998 (12 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0776/ Dist Dec 1998 Btl: Jan 2012/ Tasted: Jan 2012

A slightly murky and industrial nose of spicy dried sherry fruit with a slight turpentine edge which in fairness does blow off. Late notes of roasted coffee and golden syrup. The palate is quite oily, yet sweet with spicy dried sherry fruit, but that turpentine note is ever present and sort of evolves into an old petroly Riesling like flavour. Maybe there is a touch of spice, honey and Armagnac-esque dried fruit. The palate is not as bad as the nose suggests, well, that’s as long as you like it a bit weird!

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Benrinnes 1998 (14 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0987/ Dist: Dec 1998 Btl: Apr 2013/ Tasted: May 2013

The nose is quite sweet and vanilla’d with fresh citrus notes and a light sherry wood richness. Quite pleasant with a touch of earthy spice.

The palate is soft and slightly nutty with a slight sherried sweetness. Pleasantly deep with hints of barley, citrus and coffee. Quite citric on the finish with a light spice and rose petal note.

Douglas McGibbon Provenance Benrinnes 1995(?) (18 year old) 46%

Sherry/ Code: PRV0998/ Dist: 1995(?) Btl: June 2013/ Tasted: July 2013

Quite high toned, edgy aromas of earthy sherry with hints of coffee and treacle. Very manurey with time along with a developing, slight industrial character.

The palate is earthy and edgy with coffee, treacle and liquorice. The earthy sherried has a slight manuriness and it is a little hard and industrial (a la Dufftown) with a long coffee/ chocolate finish.

Wemyss Malt Whisky ‘Ginger Compote’ (Benrinnes) 1996 (15 year old)

Bourbon/ Dist: 1996 Btl: 2011/ Tasted: July 2011

A lovely nose of crisp citrus. A classic Spey with some beautiful light honey and barley. Very concentrated and deep.  

Soft and a touch fuller on the palate with more oak character, but the citrus notes just about balance it out. Still quite deep and concentrated although a smidge less complex than the nose would suggest. A good length with a citrus thread running through the oak until the end. Good grassy after taste. 

Conclusion: A very pleasant dram, but the oak vanillins do mute the palate a bit, but aside from that very enjoyable.

Speyside Distillery Scott’s Selection Benrinnes 1979 (21 year old) 57.6%

Dist: 1979 Btl: 2000/ Tasted: Aug 2005

A clean, pungent nose of rich biscuits, earth and vanilla. Slightly winey with crisp malt and cereal along with a hint of orange fruit and granity hardness. Fairly light in body. Winey with earthy citrus fruit, coffee. Quite powerfully alcoholic leading into a touch of smoke and some oak on the middle.

A drop of water emphasises the slightly floral, slightly oily orange, whilst on the palate it brings out more spicy vanilla oak and gives the mouth feel a pleasant creaminess.

Ian MacLeod Dun Bheagen Benrinnies 10year old ‘Sauternes Finish’ 43%

Tasted: Sept 2007

The nose is clean, with a nice depth of re-fill sherry fruits and delicate butterscotch, orange and vanillaaromas. Straightforward and appealing. The palate is delicate and soft with quiet an oily character. Nice sherry spiced fruits and tobacco notes. Good length with a nice spicy finish. In conclusion it’s simple, straightforward and pleasant.