Tasting: Benrinnes 15 years Flora & Fauna

Benrinnes 15 years Flora & FaunaDram data:
Distillery: Benrinnes
Bottler: Original Bottling
Distilled: –
Bottled: ca. 2015-2016
Age: 15 years
Limitation: –
Casks: –
Alcohol: 43%
chill filtered and coloured
Whiskybase link

Tasting notes:
amber (E150a…)
The nose is true to the beefy, meaty spirit style of Benrinnes – not at all unlike Mortlach, rich and oily with a dash of engine grease on top! Ex-sherry casks dominate, with rich, creamy, fruity-sweet notes of cherry juice, dried plums and raisins and milk chocolate.

Only very faint spicy notes and quite a bit of vanilla – most likely either a second maturation or a full-time maturation in American oak Sherry casks. Very pleasing, I have to say. The palate is rich and oily, but also more on the dry side. Not too strong and not too weak – the 43% bottling strength works very well. Cherry juice with vanilla and cracked stones, a hard to pin down creamy sweetness (more or less a dark fruit puree diluted with water and a splash of dry Oloroso Sherry on top), a smidgen of toasted oak and a hint of spices – cloves and cinnamon. Perhaps also a droplet of engine oil (in a good way). The medium-intense, long finish is fruity-sweet and dry upon swallowing, with a diluted dark fruit puree in the beginning, progressing towards slightly green (dried flower petals) and spicy notes with hints of toasted oak appearing towards the end.

This dram, poured by Dave Broom during a tasting at the Spirit of Speyside festival was one of my personal surprises and it goes to show how the not easy to find “Flora and Fauna” bottling range by Diageo works to showcase distillery characteristics. Dangerously drinkable – a nice daily dram and perhaps a replacement for the (in this range) discontinued Mortlach.

Score: 85/100
(Nose: 86 Palate: 85 Finish: 84)

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