Benrinnes distillery which is located in Aberlour, Banffshire, in the shadow of the mountain which gives its name ot the distillery, was founded in 1826, but destroyed by floods a mere 3 years later.

A new distillery was built and founded in 1835 by William Smith & Co. who suffered bankruptcy causing the Edward family to take it over.

Thanks to recession in the industry, prohibition in the US and a general downturn, the distillery was sold to J. Dewar & Sons in 1923, they became DCL in 1925 and SMD in 1930.


1956 Saw a new distillery built and then expanded further in 1966 when the existing three still were doubled to six.

Benrinnes is one of the very few ramaining distilleries to still have worm tubs in operation for cooling the spirit from the stills.

Of course, following various corporate mergers and take overs, Benrinnes is now part of Diageo and has an annual capacity of around 2.6 million litres of pure alcohol.


General whisky characteristics: Smooth, full-flavoured



More great distillery info here thanks to Malt Madness


Distilelry photos with kind permission by Teun van Wel




OB Original Distillery Bottlings


Benrinnes, 'Flora & Fauna', 15y, 43% ABV

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Dark, antique leather

Nose: Toasted raisins on an open bonfire in a field of rapeseed. This also has sherry with hints of leather and smoke.

Palate: Cream turning to custard, then slightly smoky sherry followed by lightly toasted almonds.

Finish: Very long, slightly dry and offering hints of liquorice wrapped in coconut

Overall Impression: A very enjoyable dram best savoured whilst relaxing at the end of the day, reading or listening to good music.



Benrinnes, Managers Choice, 1996-2009, 59.1% ABV

Cask 8994, one of 324 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;

Photo shows typical Managers Choice presentation


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Extremely pale yellow

Nose: Oooh nice, but this needs more time as I just can't quite place things yet. As it settles over a few minutes I begin to detect fruity wood with guava, but then not much else. It#s far from complex and quite simple, but good.

Palate: Lively and effusive with peppery vanilla and then a mild fruitiness.

With 4 drops of water: Lots of fresh light wood on the nose whilst the palate is lighter, fruitier and has more 'tingle' from a light pepperiness.

Finish: Long and light.

Overall Impression: Quite different, good and it profits from just a little water.





Independent Bottlers


Exclusive Malts, Benrinnes,  14y, 54.6% ABV

Bottled for

First fill Sherry Butt, distilled 9.9.1998, bottle 364 of 689

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Teak with a hint of amber

Nose: Rich and intense with suggestions of dark chocolate, coffee and mild Alpine cheese.

Palate: Surprisingly creamy mouth-feel (in spite of high ABV) with the suggestions from the nose apparent here too; dark chocolate, coffee & Alpine cheese.

Finish: Long with more of that cheese-iness right at the end.

Overall Impression: Rich and powerful, full of character.





Hunter Laing, Benrinnes, 28y, 49.8% ABV

Refill Butt, distilled Oct.1984, bottled June 2013

One of 133 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow

Nose: Fresh with citrus elements, a suggestion of pineapple? Somehow strangely reminiscent of new make.

Palate: Again strangely reminiscent of new make with suggestions of coconut and pineapple.

3 Drops of water: Much less citrus on the nose but still reminds me of new make. The palate is now fruitier and less like new make.

Finish: Long and fruity.

Overall Impression: I'm a little baffled here as this whisky is 28 years old but so remiscent of new make (to me). Since tasting this whisky I checked the official tasting notes and apart from the new make references my notes do correspond to those, but as this sample is from the last dregs of a bottle first opened 7 years ago I do wonder if it's suffering just a little from oxidisation?





Malts of Scotland, Benrinnes, distilled 1988, 21y, 46.3% ABV

Bourbon Hogshead #888, one of 175 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Spiegelau

Colour: Extremely pale yellow, not far from water.

Nose: Over-ripe pear, star-fruit, slightly bitter leather.

Palate: Creamy, slightly bitter melon-flavoured ice cream.

Finish: Long and fruity with a hint of spirit.

Overall Impression: I'm used to sherry cask Benrinnes so this is quite different, but quite enjoyable.





Vive La Vie, Benrinnes, 17y, 57.6% ABV

Distilled 1997, bottled 2016

Bourbon Barrel #815, one of 194 bottles

Original cost of this bottle;


Glass: Classic Malt

Colour: Pale yellow gold

Nose: My initial thoughts are of a clean and fresh nose leading into a custard-y aroma with wild meadow grasses in the background and a faint fruitiness.

Palate: Distinctly fruity on the palate which I now think is a more tropical fruitiness, perhaps mango and a hint of pineapple. The more I sample this the more I'm reminded of those pineapple sherbert sweets I enjoyed as a child.

Finish: Long and fruity with a faint hint of coconut right at the end.

Overall Impression: Pineapple sherbert sweets, almost offering fruity fireworks on the palate. I love it.









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