Single malt whisky - tasting notes

30 Sep 2011

BenRiach 1976 (cask #8079 – Craigellachie)

Posted by: Ruben Luyten In: BenRiach

BenRiach 1976 is now quite legendary and a large part of this fame was initiated by this single cask bottled for Craigellachie Hotel in September 2005.


BenRiach 1976 8079 CraigellachieBenRiach 28 yo 1976 (57,6%, OB for Craigellachie Hotel 2005, cask #8079,
144 btl.)

Nose: a sweet and surprisingly creamy 1976, with peach yoghurt and strawberries with clotted cream. Lots of banana aromas. Hints of coconut and vanilla. Some guava and melon. A very seductive fruit salad which gets more tropical by the minute. Hints of marshmallows. Soft oak and very gentle spices with a very faint earthy / mossy undertone as well. Maybe not the most complex, but warmer and more velvety than I remember other 1976’s. Mouth: plenty of oak now, with some pine resin and spices. Then it develops the creaminess again with coconut oil and vanilla. The tropical fruitiness is less impressive now and has changed into fruit tea rather than a fruit salad. Some green, leafy notes as well. Liquorice and eucalyptus. Some late toffee. Finish: stretches the wood resin a little further, with some bitterness now. Liquorice. Maybe traces of smoke?

A great nose on this BenRiach 1976 for Craigellachie Hotel, but I found it slightly disappointing on the palate because of the subdued fruits and fierce oak. Later 1976 bottlings were better in my opinion – this one doesn’t reach 90 points in my view. Slightly over-hyped (and over-paid at auctions) maybe, but still a nice classic. Long gone of course.

Score: 89/100

BenRiach 1976 (cask #8079 – Craigellachie) 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-09-30
  • MARS

    Is it from a sample?

    Maybe some problem with breathing or sample?

    I tryed this one before whisky base existed so I didn’t found my score but I remember this being very fruity a la benriach 1976. (the finale)
    Not as good as the 8080 but not too far under.

  • Ruben

    I don’t think there was a problem with the sample. I tried it alongside the BenRiachs for Asta Morris and one of the 1976’s for The Whisky Fair. Although this one has a great nose, all of the others were better on the palate.
    It’s not the first time an old bottling is overtaken by more recent releases, but our memory tricks us into thinking the old stuff is better. I’ve been hesitating between 89 and 90 points by the way.

  • MARS

    It’s true that the memory can trick us.
    But I tryed this one just before(no face to face, only one glass available)the 8080 and another one(can’t remember, must be 3550).

    One thing is that I don’t know for how long the bottle was open!

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November 2014
« Oct    

  • 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.