Single malt whisky - tasting notes

04 Nov 2009

BenRiach 1988 (Gaja Barolo cask 4424)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: BenRiach

The Benriach 1988 cask #4424 had a Gaja Barolo finish. Barolo is an Italian wine made from the Nebbiolo grape, one of many to claim the title “Wine of the Kings”. Gaja is a family of Spanish immigrants who revolutionized winemaking in Italy.


BenRiach 1988 Gaja Barolo 4424 BenRiach 20 yo 1988 (54,3%, OB 2009, Gaja Barolo finish, cask #4424, 322 btl.)

Nose: red fruit marmalade. Nice hints of tangerine. Milk chocolate and toffee. Figs. Hints of old roses and honeysuckle. Very fragrant and fresh. The finish works surprisingly well here. Mouth: the fruits and the chocolate keep lingering. Toffee and natural caramel. Underneath, there’s a slightly sweet / sour vinosity and a toasted edge. Slightly drying finish. Not very long. The grapes stay strong.

The nose was a positive surprise with a successful wine treatment. On the palate, it’s a little too straightforward and slightly vinous. Still available at around € 85.

Score: 84/100

BenRiach 1988 (Gaja Barolo cask 4424) 2 Ruben Luyten 2009-11-04
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  • S.

    I reckon 84 Points for this SUPERB Barolo 1988 finish is very harsh! I’ve bought a bottle and liked it pretty much at first opening and LOVED IT after 1-2-3 and etc days!…
    Fruity, peachy, “apricoty”, orangy, toffe-ish, chocolaty, rich and creamy with very slight little hints of wineyness that are perfectly counterbalanced by all those rich/complex layers.
    I would give it between 89-90 points.

    This year’s 1993 Barolo Finish was less elegant and heavier getting just that little tad too winey as the leveling went down in the bottle (oxygen) but still very good, very rich and very characterful.



September 2014
« Aug    

  • Roberto Sikora: This is really a great, great bottling. One of my favourite Littlemills so far... :-) Thank you, Ruben for this review!
  • george: i see you have tried st magdalene and say it is harder to find i am a collector of st magdalene and i have 40 bottles i am selling these date from 196
  • sjoerd972: I wish the guys at Bushmills would demand the labels to say "Northern Ireland" so we didn't have to speculate on the booze's origins.

Coming up

  • Bowmore Devil's Casks - Batch 2
  • Tomatin 1988 (Malts of Scotland)
  • Aberfeldy 12 Year Old
  • Blair Athol 2002 (Hepburn's Choice)
  • Fettercairn Fior
  • Bowmore Laimrig 15yo
  • Ben Nevis 2002 (Port cask #334)

1600 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.