Two times Benrinnes selected from the vast Signatory stocks.
In the left hand corner: Benrinnes 1995 in the Italian Car series by Jan Vissers (Fisser). In the right hand corner: Benrinnes 1997 bottled for TastToe.
Benrinnes 23 yo 1995 (49,6%, Signatory Vintage 2019, Italian Car series, hogshead #9059, 222 btl.)
Nose: very fruity, mostly on bright citrus notes but with a tropical edge. Green bananas, unripe pineapple, hints of peaches. Minty and gingery notes, warm woody notes and pencil shavings. After a while also creamier, almost buttery hints of white chocolate, paraffin and fudge.
Mouth: same profile, half fruity, half spicy. Nice creamy / waxy feeling, with vanilla and warm oak. Hints of green tea. Coconut oil. Liquorice. Now more on the citrusy fruits, maybe a bit of banana but far less tropical overall. A bit of nutmeg and peppercorns.
Finish: rather long, with wood spices, peaches and these waxy notes.
Benrinnes is a blender’s malt and it’s clear to see it’s an easy-going profile with enough waxy body and oaky punch to make a blend stand out. This one is definitely interesting enough to be bottled as a single malt. Still a few available for around € 140 from Fisser in Belgium.
Benrinnes 20 yo 1997 (53,1%, Signatory Vintage Un-Chillfiltered for TastToe 2018, hogshead #9413, 182 btl.)
Nose: similar but simpler and it misses the tropical hints. Lemon juice, apple juice and more malty / bready notes. The same kind of fresh oaky side, with spices and similar pencil shavings. This time also a light chalky touch and whiffs of lanolin.
Mouth: still fresh, with more spicy notes here. There’s a nice creamy and spicy oaky side, some lemon and mint, the same chalky side and just a slight floral touch.
Finish: medium, a tad more on the spicy / woody notes now.
Also good but perhaps a bit more middle-of-the-road. Around € 90, not sure whether there are still bottled available, better check with TastToe.