Thanks to /u/nsquare14 for the sample.
A long time ago I found out that Benrinnes was the thing. Ex-sherry specifically. I bought a bottle of Benrinnes 14 A.D. Rattray Cask Collection, enjoyed it a lot, and here we are.
Since then it’s been harder to find these nice ex-sherry cask Benrinnes, probably because we weren’t wrong about how tasty they are. Thus when the opportunity came up to purchase a bottle of Benrinnes 13 A.D. Rattray Cask Collection, I got mixed up, though it was the same as before, and jumped at it.
At the same time, a friend handed me a sample to review. I’m lucky. But perhaps all the times I’ve had ex-Sherry Benrinnes they were just really good versions. So let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A at the LCBO
Cask Number: 6868 (part)
Cask Type: Sherry Butt
Number of Bottles: 270
Date Distilled: 02.09.1998
Date Bottled: 39.95.2012
Colour: 10R 1/6
Nose: Plum pudding, fresh honeydew, cashew/Frangelico, mint
Immediate plum, white cake, some fresh melon notes. Sweet, in other words, but not overly so. Think natural sweet things. Think nutty from the sherry, some mint, but not so much that it’s only sherry or too sherry-like.
Taste: Chocolate caramel cashew, brine, strawberry, plum sauce, orange
Caramel, chocolate, some brine. I’m getting a bit sweetened out here. Don’t get me wrong, there are elements of earth/tart/brine that’s pairing nicely, but sugar is the main driver here leading the convoy.
It doesn’t stop me from drinking it, granted.
Finish: Violets, dark chocolate, asparagus, Nutella, dry apple, brown sugar
Medium length, good earth dominant. Sugar is still quite strong, though the bitter/earth/floral elements are fighting the good fight here.
So in other words, very complex and good finish.
Conclusion: Yeah, it’s up there. There’s a reason we enjoyed the living heck out of this. If I was running Benrinnes, I’d be doubling down on the sherry casks. Or seeing if white wine or red wine casks would be similar.
This whole whisky is a dessert whisky. If you aren’t the biggest sweets fan or have a tough time with a potentially over sherried dram, this might not be worth hunting. Otherwise? Yeah, it’s another great sherried Benrinnes. Lovely complexity and fun flavours throughout.
Scotch review #1119, Speyside review #321, Whisky review #1740