Affordable Adults – Benrinnes 24 year 52.6%

After a seriously solid start with the Signatory Imperial 20 year, we were primed for another treat in our ‘Affordable Adults‘ evening…

Out came the Benrinnes 24 year… You could be forgiven for not being familiar with this Speyside distillery. Benrinnes has the moniker ‘Diageo workhorse‘ as it primarily pumps out whisky for blends.

Benrinnes 24 year

Benrinnes 24 year (1991/2016) 52.6%

Distilled 9 Sept 1991, bottled 10 March 2016, Hogshead Cask No 090508, Outrun of 287 bottles and part of the Single Malts of Scotland series put out by Specialty Drinks Ltd (aka TWE).

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…

Here is what The Whisky Exchange folks have to share:

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.

“My goodness, it’s perfect whisky, if you like them bright” –  Serge Valentin,
  • Benrinnes 24 year bottleNose: 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!
Well… not a ‘hit’ like the Imperial… at least for our merry malters. However at least in the revisit a few more elements emerged. That said, it will never be a stunner in our books.
Others in our ‘Affordable Adults‘ evening included:

From time to time, you can also find other whisky related updates and activities on:

2 thoughts on “Affordable Adults – Benrinnes 24 year 52.6%

  1. I’m sure I remember a video by Ralfy where he didn’t like a whisky straight out of a new bottle but after pouring off a small amount and letting the remaining spirit breath for a few days it tasked significantly better. Sounds like the Benrinnes is one of those beasties. The distillery does do some nice malts but you have to think that some unlucky independent bottlers end up buying casks only fit for blending.

    Nice review! I’m looking forward to your thoughts on the Linkwood 25yo G&M. It was my uncle’s favourite and I treated myself to a bottle for my birthday a few years ago. Still haven’t opened it, nor a miniature I have from the 1980s, which could have been distilled in the late 1950s. One of these years I’ll have a taste-off between the two.


    • Completely agree that some whiskies benefit from a little ‘oxidation’. I certainly found that was the case with the Benrinnes. Glad I gave it a further chance though it still isn’t one to my palate. 🙂

      As for the Linkwood? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post however well worth treating! I had another sample in passing which was indifferent but the G&M bottle? Superb! Will be very curious to see what you find when you finally crack open your bottle and the mini. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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