Benrinnes 1992 21 Years Old (Special Release)
Ah, Benrinnes. A fan favourite, although far from a household name. I wrote about the distillery at length a few days ago, you should check out that post, and then come back to this review. Or read this review first and then read about my distillery visit. Either way, just read what I wrote about Benrinnes, and I won’t bother you about it anymore.
Today’s review is of the Benrinnes 1992 21 Years Old that was released as part of Diageo’s Special Releases back in 2014. It’s price at the time was steep, and even though it is a quality whisky, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this release is still widely available. It matured in an ex-Bodega cask made from European oak, by the way.
Benrinnes 1992 21 Years Old (56.9%, OB, 2892 bts.)
Nose: Some soft sherry notes with only a whisper of sulphur. There’s some sultanas, cherry syrup, a touch of cumin, a bit of nutmeg and toasted oak as well. A nice amount of brown bread too, accompanied by polished leather.
Taste: Surprisingly viscous, and meatier and more sulphury than the nose suggests – still within acceptable boundaries though. There’s a line you can cross with sulphur, but that’s not the case here. Hints of dried fruits, plenty of spices too (some chili heat), as well as a whiff of hazelnuts.
Finish: Lingering spices. Medium in length.
The nose is well-behaved and rather reserved, but the palate is rough, intense and loud. Kind of a contradictory whisky, or – if you’re a glass-half-full kind a person – a two-fer whisky. That price is still steep though.
Photo: The Whisky Exchange
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.