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Benrinnes 1974, 21 years Signatory Vintage

(S)Alladin Sane Part II

6 1293

@cricklewoodReview by @cricklewood

14th Mar 2021


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Thanks to the generosity of a fellow Connosr member @fiddich1980 I was able to obtain this sample a couple of years ago. It's not often one gets to try a whisky from 70's vintage and I'm glad to get another crack at it.

This would have been distilled using barley malted on site and also the year which they switched to partial triple-distillation (I won't attempt to try and explain it). Needles to say this should be rather interesting.

Nose: Delicate to start, green tea, vegetable oils, slight hay/grass. soft grains and a lovely putty/mineral note. Not very fruity, there is light apple/melon but so very faint. Slightly farmy but we're talking grain farm, marigolds, hay, dusty oak, earthen floor. With time I pick up slight sherry notes but feels more like a Fino sherry, yeasty, dry, slight green olive/almond. (this could simply be old bottle effect or age).

Palate: Full, round, sweet, oily with a slight pleasant feinty side. Honey, tinned fruit, a touch of gunpowder green tea. Aspririn tablets, herbal tea, a little quinine, lime peel. The mouthfeel is a bit drying, definitely some lovely spirity side, dark notes, a touch of ginseng root too. Peppery and vegetal, a sharpness akin to horseradish, touches of hemp.

Finish: Old tobacco, a bit of menthol/parsley, resin and clay.

Blab: Wow! They don't make a lot of whisky like this anymore, beyond the age (both of the whisky and the bottle aging) this thing has barely any fruit in it, hasn't been clobbered by too many fresh overactive casks. There's all these grain and earthy notes and then all the medicinal, herbal things.

If I compare it with the modern Benrinnes, you can find some commonalities, the feinty side, the mineral, peppery, almost chinchonna bark thing. The modern one though is definitely getting a lot of fruit and sweetness from the bourbon cask. This 74 is austere as a mofo, but pleasantly so, like a visit to an old time apothecary or herbalist.

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cricklewood commented

Trying to channel my inner Serge laughing

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

OdysseusUnbound commented

@cricklewood This sounds fantastic. Those farmy notes in particular, sound drool-worthy. If you really want to channel your inner Serge, maybe include more references to wax, miso, and mustard greens next time. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

Aspirins tablets? Is that

  • coated low dose?

  • coated night dose?

  • regular high dose?

  • chewable?

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

Astroke commented

93, that's a big time score

2 years ago 2Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@RianC @OdysseusUnbound. It was really special and one of those things where you transcend the pure enjoyment of it and move into really deep analysis.

@Nozinan old school un coated, not easy to swallow, in a jewel plastic bottle with the tapered neck. wink

@Astroke yeah I don't score easily but this transcended. Older isn't always better but being able to taste this window in time was totally worthy of a high score.

2 years ago 4Who liked this?

Astroke commented

@cricklewood where was this bottle when we were getting palate fatigue guzzling JDBP batches :)

2 years ago 3Who liked this?

cricklewood commented

@Astroke It was on Nov 10th 2018 (seems like a lifetime ago) you we're present it was slotted in right between Tyrconnel 16 (which you brought) and Yamazaki 18. It was the night your "Uber" driver showed up early laughing but you did manage to try it. There were a lot of good bottles that evening also this is really a take your time kind of whisky at least for my sample it really opened up after 20 min or so, I can see why it may not have made a splash then.

I'm glad I waited to try this I think I am way more receptive to this kind of whisky now, than I might have been 3 years ago

2 years ago 1Who liked this?

Nozinan commented

I have a sample of this somewhere too. So at some point I may find it and review it.

2 years ago 0

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