I was very grateful to receive in the post two samples from the latest outturn from Claxton’s. I already have three single casks bottles from them which I bought last year so I am excited to see what they bottle in 2017.
My last review from this bottler was an 8 year old Ardmore which is still available to buy and the review can be found here.
The Benrinnes distillery is located in Aberlour making this a Speyside distillery. Currently owned by Diageo it was originally built in 1826. That particular setup was burned down in a fire sadly. The current buildings on their current site were built in 1829 by John Innes. In something of an unbelievable amount of bad luck for one distillery it would be badly damaged in yet another fire in 1896 before being extensively redeveloped.
The Benrinnes distillery is a jobbing distillery mostly used to product malt for blending. To this end between the 1970’s and 2007 the distillery was producing partially triple distilled spirit. This distillation technique along with the use of wormtubs was used to make a new make spirit with a hearty, meaty character.
This single cask was distilled on 15th August 1997 which means it was from the time of the complex partial triple distillation phase of the distillery. The cask was a hogshead although I do not know what the previous contents of the cask were althought I think it might have been a refill. The bottling strength is a natural 51.5%ABV and of course the colour is natural as well.
It will be available for sale at selected retailers for around £100 in the UK.
Colour – pale yellow
Nose – pears and opal fruits sweets (optionally starburst) initially out of the bottle. This develops a more malty and cereal aspect in the glass with some water.
Palate – sugar dusted grapefruits and then with water pickles and cinnamon. As it develops it becomes gingerbread and banana cake with more doughy notes
Finish – A medium long finish with bitter lemons initially. tea leafs and earthy spices do linger on the tongue. There is more of the dough flavours with uncooked cookie dough.
I found this whisky a little unusual. There is a big malty character to it and not a lot of wood interaction. The character is big and chunky but in a different way to a Mortlach which also has a complex and unusual distillation technique.
I enjoyed this the longer I left it sitting so it is one to drink slowly, carefully and really savour.