16 years in ex-bourbon followed by a transfer over to 1st fill ex-moscatel hogshead for this Benrinnes. Colour me interested.
Nose: Black forest gateaux packed full of dried red and cherries sits with dusty orange peels, unrefined brown sugars and oven-baked pastries. Running throughout a perceptible earthiness – part wet and mossy, part dry and cracked – mosses and lichen with old books and damp cellars. Running throughout leather covered armchairs and an abundance of moist dunnage floors. Dilution offers up cherries – black and glace alongside anise and ginger spicing and orange barley water.
Taste: Immediately off to a warehouse. Wet walls, moist earthiness, old venerable whisky-filled casks filling the air. An almost alluvial quality. Alongside, rich, jammy fruits, orange, cherries and plum – reduced down into preserves – leather bound books, old libraries and rich chocolate sauce. Reduction offers a bigger orange component – peels, drizzle and jellied with a side of gingercake – less earthy in outlook and much more brightly focussed.
Finish: Long with tree resin and menthol sitting with leather seat covered.
A highly successful Benrinnes which pairs appealing old dunnage character with rich and reduced sherry-forward fruitiness. Effective both neat and with water, and possessing a wide appeal which will charm most enthusiasts, not just sherryheads. Highly recommended.