Usually closed to the public, Benrinnes opened its doors during the upcoming Spirit of Speyside Festival. That meant I finally had a chance to see what all the fuzz is about. The distillery used to have a complex distillation regime, with six pot stills running in pairs of three, but is has been simplified in recent years.
For now I’ll gladly settle for a sip of their product, which in my experience is often highlighted by a meaty and sulphury quality, in the best possible way.
Benrinnes 15 Years Old (43%, Flora & Fauna, 2012)
Nose: Without a doubt there’s a hit of struck matches to start things, as well as burnt caramel, but also orange peel. A hint of blackberries too, with a thin malty veneer. Pretty classic stuff.
Taste: Slightly burnt and spicy (nutmeg, pepper), with roasted peanut skins and oranges as well. The sulphur makes an encore as well. A touch of cappuccino as well.
Finish: Lingering pickled oranges and a whisper of smoke.
Always great to know that there are distilleries with their own distinct style. There’s similarities here with that incredible Benrinnes from The Bottlers, as well as with the Benrinnes 1985 23 Years Old that was part of the Special Releases a while ago.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange