Whiskey Review: Two Very Different Benrinnes
SMWS of America apparently was releasing some really nice bottlings a decade ago, of which here we have a lovely 23 year old Benrinnes that is truly a delight, and the winner of this face-off.
Random tip: if you ever see any of the old green glass and labels, buy them immediately!
Benrinnes 1988 SMWS 36.54 / 59.2% / £150
This bottle, A cheeky treat for afternoon tea is a Benrinnes distilled 05/1988 and bottled at 23 years of age, a single cask refill sherry butt, one of 483 bottles.
It suffers from a bit of dry cork syndrome, but the cork remained intact and it merely rubbed off a bit.
- Color: tawny (1.4)
- Nose: sherry, nutmeg, carrot cake, black licorice, orange peel
- Taste: a bit of oakiness, rich sweet sherry, vanilla, leather, pizza crust
- Finish: long, pipe tobacco and honey
Very nice lightly sherried Benrinnes, it accents without overpowering the spirit.
Benrinnes 2000 Cadenhead Small Batch 18 Yr / 55.7% / $82
Another Cadenshead Small Batch Benrinnes, this one with the following stats:
- Distilled in 2000
- Bottled in 2019
- 4 x Bourbon Barrels
- 618 Bottles
Their label tasting notes:
Nose: Sweet honey with earthy overtunes. Orange peel with dunnage warehouse and some creamier coconut notes.Palate: Thick and chewy - orange and lemon zest. Praline, some fizzy sherbet and then milk chocolate, toffee and cardamon.Finish: Faint spice, lemongrass and slightly autumnal. Some red berries, honeycomb and quite buttery and waxy.
- Color: deep gold (0.85)
- Nose: lemon meringue pie, chalk, cut grass, marshmallow
- Taste: thick and oily, smoked mackerel, malt, slightly-soured milk, salt
- Finish: long, sandalwood and synthetic orange perfume
This is tolerable. It’s quite estery and would have benefited, I think, from another 5 years in the wood.