Benrinnes is one of Zander’s favourite distilleries. I must find out where he’s up to – we’ve been missing his content on The Dramble for some time now. This Sponge rinnes has been matured in a 1st fill sherry hogshead and taken on substantive colour to a point where I suspect this edition sold out based on its hue alone.
The tasting of whisky is about much more than just a collection of aromas on the nose and flavours on the palate (all of which will vary greatly from person to person). The texture of a whisky also has an important role to play. When we sample whisky (or anything else for that matter) we often think in terms of the five basic tastes – sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami – some of us, might even consider these in a particular order. However, it is likely that the first assessment that our brains will make before judging specific tastes will actually be mouthfeel.
Our first dip in to the Firkin Whisky Company comes courtesy of a 2008 Benrinnes. Bottled in 2020 at the bottlers' standard 48.9% ABV this release has spend some time in a custom ‘firkin’ cask seasoned with madeira wine. Whilst madeira is not a frequent cask fill there are plenty of examples of madeira matured whisky that have been produced over the last few years – its popularity is certainly growing.
Speyside distillery Benrinnes was founded in 1826, but was swiftly removed from the map by a massive flood in 1829. History wasn’t quite finished with the distillery however, and it was rebuilt just a few miles away. As part of the Diageo portfolio, original distillery bottlings of Benrinnes are rarely seen (a 15 year old from Flora & Fauna series being the most common), however independents have been bottling up this idiosyncratic malt for many years.
Well-priced Benrinnes drawn from a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel and aged 11 years. Sweet & Spicy profile.
1st fill ex-oloroso sherry has been utilised in this 11 year old Benrinnes. Spicy & Dry profile.
Over to Benrinnes for an expression which has spent 9 years in 1st fill ex-bourbon before being transferred over to a 1st fill oloroso hogshead.
Whilst not sherried (drawn from a refill ex-bourbon hogshead), sherry fans should certainly keep an eye on this 12 year old bottling that’s within the Deep, Rich & Dried Fruit profile. View on SMWS
Our opening gambit heads over to Benrinnes for a 12 year old that has spend 9 of those years inside and ex-bourbon hogshead before being interestingly transferred into a 1st fill marsala barrique. Not a total uniqueness – Frequent Flyers bottled a 15 year old marsala finish last year – but nevertheless, not a common combination by any measure.
Distilled on 21st May 2000 this Benrinnes has been matured for 16 years in a refill ex-Bourbon hogshead and then was transfered into a 'custom' 2nd fill hogshead for an addition year. One of 282 bottles. Spicy and Sweet profile.
Benrinnes that's been matured for 16 years in ex-bourbon and then has been reracked into a 1st fill PX hogshead for a two year finish.
16 years in ex-bourbon followed by a transfer over to 1st fill ex-moscatel hogshead for this Benrinnes. Colour me interested.
Well-aged Benrinnes distilled back in August of 1997 and then matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel. Sweet, Fruity & Mellow profile.
An always welcome visit to Benrinnes. Despite being in the Deep, Rich & Dried Fruits category, this has been fully matured in a 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel. Interesting.
First impressions are everything, or so the saying goes. In a fraction of a second, we can judge how attractive a person’s face is, how much we can trust them, and how likely they would be to get something done. But first impressions are far from perfect. Biases can mangle our judgements and there are times when first impressions don’t last.