A 23-year-old Benrinnes, jointly bottled with The Rare Malt in honour of the anniversary of their shop in Hong Kong. This is, on paper, just your bog standard refill hogshead, but it’s one of those occasions where something mysterious and wonderful has happened with the cask…
So, moving past the rather glorious hue, we find a nose of soft fruity waxiness, with orange cakes, dried fruits and candied peel, cinnamon buns and a bit of spearmint. There’s a touch of something floral in there too (orange blossom?) and just a hint of a sootier and oilier side to the waxy quality.
On the palate: blimey, it’s huge! Deeply fruity and waxy, with some real heft. I get rum baba, blood oranges, pine resin, toasting peppercorns and mint tea. Adding water ups the fruitiness (hello peach pie!), and out we go with waxy citrus, assorted pastries and liquorice root.
This is an example of a spirit with a great deal of character (this dates from when Benrinnes had a strange two-and-a-bit-times distillation method, similar to Mortlach and Springbank) meeting a cask with a lot to say. The end result is surprisingly harmonious, and probably not something that you could intentionally replicate.
The cask produced 232 bottles at 56.6%.
1 per household please.