Benrinnes 24 year (1991/2016) 52.6%
Here is what we found:
- Nose – Phenol, medicinal, quite “in your face” with spirits, nail polish or anti freeze… eventually… a little cinnamon spice emerged, became a bit sweeter with a hint of meaty vegetation
- Palate – Harsh! After the subtle Imperial, the Benrinnes seemed like solvent, very dry, too strong on the alcohol, harsh, bitter and dry with very little else
- Finish – Burn…
Overall our initial impression was quite negative.
So we thought perhaps a little water may help. It didn’t hurt…
What actually helped more was a revisit much later in the evening with a Gurkha Cellar Reserve Limitada 15 year cigar. In short – the combination worked.
I decided to take a wee sample home to see what more may be going on away from the influence of our initial reaction. I’m glad I did.
- Nose – Much sweeter than before, enabling the meaty vegetal quality to be more pronounced, a medicinal sweetness almost like that Axe “universal oil” for relief of headaches, a hint of salty sea breeze
- Palate – Yup. This is still still packs a punch but not nearly as harsh as before, still bitter and dry, mineral, dry leaves and tobacco, cereals, a little lemon
- Finish – Like a dry bitter tea
- Water – With a generous dollop not just a drop or two, opened up to bring a bit of mocha, fruits…
This 24-year-old Single Malts of Scotland bottling comes from one of Diageo’s workhorse distilleries, Benrinnes. Matured in a single hogshead, this is lively with notes of refreshing lemon oil, stewed fruits and savoury dark chocolate.
- Nose: Complex, intriguing nose that begins with toffee popcorn, vanilla sugar and honey-soaked sponge cake, then adds a layer of citrus aromas with orange and lemon, as well as a fresh floral note.
- Palate: Rather lively on the palate, with fresh and stewed-fruit notes, a touch of lemon oil that cleans and refreshes, ending with more savoury notes of tobacco, dark chocolate and espresso.
- Finish: Rich chocolate that coats the palate.
- Comment: Plenty going on with this whisky. You think it’s sweet, then fresh fruit arrives. You think it’s fruity, then darker, richer notes appear. I like it a lot, but I’m struggling to pin it down!