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While we are working out way through a lineup of Benrinnes, allow me to take an older (well, not that old) bottling from the shelf: a Benrinnes 21 years of age, bottled by Malts of Scotland in August 2009. It is a single cask bottling at cask strength.
The nose starts off grainy and grassy. Sweet, as in spearmint. Mashed, green banana. Young apples. For some reason, I cannot seem to get the color green out of my head. After a while it gets sweeter and fruitier. Think tangerine.
The first thing I notice on the palate is woodsmoke, immediately followed by sweet fruit (pears join the banana, tangerine and appel) and a slight nuttiness. Nicely spiced on ginger and a pinch of white pepper. Very quaffable. I swear I discover a hefty helping of peat.
The medium long finish reveals oak in the form of woodsmoke and confirms the use of peat. It turns slightly bitter and dies a salty death.
This is a nice Benrinnes, well balanced, without really jumping out at you.