In 1896 Benrinnes was ravaged by a great fire and the owners needed some serious reconstruction to get it up and running again. In 1956 it was renovated anew and in 1964 the malt floor was replaced by a Saladin Box – which in turn was retired in 1984. Today about 95% of the production goes to the blenders – Johnnie Walker is the biggest client – so it’s very hard to find as official release. We’ll try an independent bottling from Adelphi, who released this single cask for Paul Ullrich AG, a chain of spirit shops in Switzerland.
The nose is fruity, but very herbal at the same time. Think apples and grapefruit versus ferns and almost wilted flowers. After a few moments that evolves towards fresh orange juice on setorids, while the mild off-note dissipates. Some caramel and vanilla in the mix, but it’s the citrussy notes that keep your attention.
The ABV promised a kick to the teeth, but no such thing. Sure, it is powerful, but it certainly does not burn. Bittersweet on oranges and quinine, but also lemon sorbet with green garden herbs. Nice, bright and fresh.
The finish slowly goes from sweet to bitter, without going over the top. It could have been a little bit longer in my opinion.
The garden herbs on the nose came a bit as a surprise, but bar that this is textbook well matured Benrinnes.