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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  • Tony: Well the 1401 batch 8 could be found easily in most places for £200 - indeed I got one for £180 with a discount. The £225 price was a bit high and
  • WhiskyNotes: Don't just look at the UK - it's not always representative for the rest of the world. The last 1401 for Europe was batch 8. I bought that one for €
  • Sam: Nicely written notes, not rated this myself yet. Just to confirm, it's nowhere near a 40% price rise though. The last 1401 released in the UK was at

Coming up

  • Macduff 1980 (Golden Cask)
  • Karuizawa 45 Year Old (cask #2725)
  • Cardhu 18 Year Old
  • Craigellachie 13 Years
  • Port Askaig 19 Year Old
  • Ledaig 2005 (Maltbarn)

1659 notes by Ruben

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