Benrinnes 1982 26 Years Old (The Bottlers)
The Bottlers is one of those extinct independent bottlers that I honestly don’t know much about, and I don’t feel like doing some research either. That’s because I’ve been wanting to taste this particular expression of theirs for a looooong time. And I don’t want to wait any longer.
I’m very fond of the Benrinnes 1985 23 Years Old, an official bottling that was part of Diageo’s Special Releases almost a decade ago. It’s a sulphury (I know, usually not what I like) sherry bomb, meaty AF. The Benrinnes 1982 26 Years Old from The Bottlers promises to be very similar, although maybe even more extreme. Fingers crossed!
Benrinnes 1982 26 Years Old (57,4%, The Bottlers, C#3229)
Nose: Insanely intense and dry sherry, while the sulphur is (surprisingly) kept to a minimum. Only a sliver of gun powder. Somewhat herbal (juniper and menthol), but also very leathery with loads of cigar tobacco and whiffs of brown sugar and cocoa powder, while even displaying a wee bit of lavender. There’s roasted coffee beans and raisins too, accompanied by a quick hit of red wine vinegar.
Taste: Oh yeah, there’s the sulphur. Talk about gun powder. Plenty of rubber and plastic too. Yet, I don’t actually mind. It makes for a rough and tumble experience that’s really worthwhile, but probably not for everyone. Lots of cinnamon and plums, with soft blackcurrants, as well as some very strong, dark roasted coffee. Let’s say an espresso, or a caffè normale, as the Italians call it. Bitter chocolate and really dry, yet creamy. Dirrrrty AF.
Finish: Lingering bitterness, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Extremely long.
An explosive dram if there ever was one. One of those that makes me want to throw in an expletive every now and again. Motherf&#$, this is one hell of a sherrybomb. Whoops. See? That’s what I mean.
Photo: Master of Malt
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.