There’s a veil of nostalgy over floor maltings. For Benriach it was extra important because around 1900 it helped them get through a difficult period in which the still fell silent. In 2012 they decided to reinstate this old tradition by restoring their floor maltings and using it for one month in spring each year. Together with Balvenie it is now one of only two distilleries in Speyside to have an operational floor malting.
This Benriach Malting Season first edition was created using Concerto malt from the 2012 season. It is a composition of 23 ex-bourbon and virgin oak barrels. This expression will become a yearly bottling with different types of barley.
Benriach Malting Season 2012 (48,7%, OB 2021, bourbon + virgin oak casks, first edition, 6672 btl.)
Nose: sweet and fragrant, with Granny Smith, ripe pear and peach, as well as honey and a hint of banana. Some almond paste in the background, barley sugar and light oak spice, mainly pepper and nutmeg.
Mouth: creamy texture, with a caramel sweetness and vanilla as well as some milk chocolate. Some cereally notes and some zesty citrus, with honey and baked apples. Something floral and spicy too, the virgin oak comes out more on the palate.
Finish: good length, with the same creamy feel, some nutty notes and honey.
A nice Benriach with a creamy texture and plenty of orchard fruits. Benriach seems to jump on the barley exploration bandwagon with a confident whisky. The virgin oak is giving it some sharp corners, but I’d love to try an older expression from less active casks as I believe the spirit is high quality. Available from The Whisky Exchange or Master of Malt for instance.