Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Have just tried ... Benrinnes 15 years old 'Flora & Fauna'

benrinnes 15 years oldBenrinnes is a Speyside distillery owned by drinks giant Diageo. Originally opening in 1826, the old Victorian buildings were completely demolished and rebuilt in the late 1950s. The majority of the whisky produced at Benrinnes (around 2.5 million litres) is used in the blending of Johnnie Walker red label and black label, which both sell massive amounts each year around the world. The only official bottling from the distillery is this 15 years old, which forms part of Diageo's 'Flora and Fauna' range (this range showcases whiskies from lesser known distilleries in their portfolio). Other independent bottlings are rare.

This is dark, golden brown in colour and the nose is full of maltiness from the barley, dried fruit (raisins and sultanas) and lots of sherry, indicating that it has spent significant time in sherry casks. On the palate, these notes are all as prominent and are joined by something creamy and nutty (walnuts or brazil nuts, I think). There is an element of bitterness as well which reminded me of caramel or burnt sugar and dark chocolate. The finish was short, flat and disappointing with not much going on. This is good and quite complex but may have too much sherry cask influence for some people. It retails around £35 a bottle.

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