Benrinnes 25 Years Old 1988

Speyside single malt scotch whisky

53% ABV, £84.50 for 70cl available from Wm Cadenhead

Score: 87/100

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What they say:

Only 270 Bottles in the world last case now in stock

Nose: Starts meaty and earthy then juicier notes emerge. Pineapple with some limoncello and dates with a hint of dark berries and coca
Palate: Sweet and chewy, faint lavender, aniseed, fresh roasted coffee beans and cinnamon sticks, some sweet caramel and whipped cream, so many white soft fruit notes like baked pear and apples.
Finish: Soft dunnage warehouses, autumnal fruits and soft spice in the start the finish off perfectly before a more rounded fruity note lingers as this dram ends its incredible journey across the palate.

Benrinnes25yo1998WC

What I say:

Dram No.3 at the Water of Life Society ‘The Blender’s Malts’ tasting on 29th January 2015 – Yet another Diageo-owned Speyside blending distillery. This time Benrinnes, again the only widely available official bottling being a leftover from DCL’s Flora and Fauna range Benrinnes 15 Years Old Flora and Fauna ~ 43% (Diageo) . Benrinnes is a little oddity in that the distillery possesses 6 stills that were for a time used as 2 sets of 3 and triple distillation or ‘semi’ triple distillation was employed. Sometime after 2000 this was rearranged such that standard double distillation is undertaken using 2 wash and 4 spirit stills. This example from 1988 was more likely triple-distilled.

Colour:

Amber gold (8/20), medium/heavy tears

Nose:

Vanilla, ascerbic and old oak wood, tannic, old furniture and antique shop smell

Taste:

Vanilla, spiced cinnamon and nutmeg, cereal barley malt, brown sugar and molasses, full-bodied and chewy, dates, toffee and caramel oak wood, butterscotch fudge with espresso coffee and stewed apples and pears, hints of brandy

Finish:

Medium/long, spiced tannins, cinnamon sticks and old musty oak wood

Overall:

A beautiful aged expression, plenty of old oak notes in this one and some wonderful almost caramelised sugary flavours. Hints of waxiness characteristic of Benrinnes and presumably partly what makes it so appealing for blending.