Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Malt Mission 2007 #48

Benrinnes 17yo
Single Cask Single Malt Whisky
SMWS 36.29
59.5% abv

Benrinnes uses a strange style of distillation, similar to that of Springbank, that results in partial triple distillation and a resulting abv of 75.5%. The distillery is one of just over a dozen distilleries to use traditional worm tubs to cool the distillate. This means that after travelling up the neck of the still and down the lyne arm, the vapour is recondensed inside copper tubes or 'worms' that are submerged in cool water. Visual here

The distillery has suffered bankruptcy(twice), a flood and a fire. Benrinnes is not readily available as a single malt, but can be found as a part of the Flora&Fauna series, a few independent bottlings, and as a component in Johnnie Walker whiskies and J&B.

This is the distillery whose 12yo whisky was apparently used for Dewar Rattray's Stronachie.

This is a bottling from the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. Follow their link above for more information. We received it as payment for sitting on the society tasting/cask selection panel 2005-6.


Lemon, tea, clean diapers/nappies. Almost a hops-like floral element mixed with malted barley and earth. With water it really gets malty and creamy, with a little bit of leather and clean marble, like a room in Harrod's.

Spicy with fresh flavours, lime, fresh herbs, coconut. Outdoorsy element in the freshness but also the tree(pine?) and flower smells. Lingering oak and Ovaltine. With water, a brininess emerges and the green, herb-y, new wood flavours become more pronounced.


The SMWS always put a short description on each bottle, and this one reads, "Sippin' Whisky." I am not quite sure whether that means that you can sip lots of it, or that you cannot quaff it, but either way it is a safe tagline. It is very well balanced whisky, if a bit green and one dimensional, that one could enjoy at lengths should one be so inclined. For me, I would probably call it "blendin' whisky" and to every one part 36.29, add 1/8 parts Talisker, for example.

Malt Mission #46
Malt Mission #47
Malt Mission #49
Malt Mission #50

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