Single malt whisky - tasting notes

19 Dec 2009

Benrinnes 1985 23yo

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: Benrinnes

Benrinnes is known to use worm tubs instead of the more modern condensers to cool the spirit vapours and it’s using that as an argument for unique quality. At this moment, only 13 distilleries maintain this tradition.

With this 23 years old Benrinnes 1985 we conclude our series of the Diageo Special Releases for 2009. It was distilled in 1985 and matured in sherry casks.

 

Untitled-1 Benrinnes 23 yo 1985
(58,8%, OB 2009, 6000 btl.)

Nose: what seems to start a bit meaty / sulphury actually stays clear of really bad aromas, with just some notes of gunpowder and a case of matchsticks. I don’t like sulphur but this is okay, especially since there are lots of nutty aromas (Nutella) and nice fruits (berries, prunes, cherries) to counterbalance it. Surprisingly sweet (demerara sugar). Hints of heather. Mouth: hazelnuts again. Raisins with a chocolate coating. A big spicy kick as well. Something slightly metallic. Beefy notes. Getting rubbery towards the end. Finish: spicy (nutmeg) with dry oak and hints of leather and tires.

Not exactly a clean sherry monster but not bad either. I know many fans will love this for its interesting notes of matches. Still too much “on the edge” for me, and I’m not convinced to pay € 140.

Score: 80/100

Benrinnes 1985 23yo 2.5 Ruben Luyten 2009-12-19

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  • WhiskyNotes: You're right, it is a refill bourbon cask. Sorry if I suggested otherwise, but I believe a single cask can never be 80% sherry and 20% bourbon like th
  • Tabrulavubeg: I've tried the 18yo Single Cask yesterday. It's really quite good, but from Ruben's conclusion "an exquisite version of this already really good dram"
  • Johan Andersson: Yes this cask is really fantastic. If you did the Cadenhead Warehouse tasting with Grant MacPherson in Campbeltown 2013 and until Open Day in May 2014

Coming up

  • Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
  • Highland Park 1973 (Mackillop's Choice)
  • Kavalan bourbon cask for Belgium
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Glenrothes 1997 (Kintra)
  • Bladnoch 1992 (The Nectar)
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)

1665 notes by Ruben

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