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Friday, April 7, 2023

Benrinnes 20 year old 1997 SMWS 36.141

The last of the Benrinnes quadruplets is also the hottest, kicking at 60.7%abv. It's confirmed to have been from a refill cask, and is named "Vermouth de Provence". Will this be a 20yo that registers like a 10yo? Will there be fruits or fire? Time to find out...

Distillery: Benrinnes
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Independent Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 20 years (15 August 1997 - 2018)
Maturation: refill barrel
Cask#: 36.141, "Vermouth de Provence"
Outturn: 198 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 60.7%
(from a Columbus Scotch Night event)


Unsurprisingly, the nose begins with floral esters. Kind of a yeasty eau de vie. But then the orange peels, pie crust, and fresh thyme appear. The palate is fruitier than the nose, with raspberry candy, guava juice, and Juicy Fruit gum. The heat doesn't overwhelm, though it's present in the sweet berried finish.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 2 tsp of water per 30mL whisky

Oh I like this nose. It's fresh and lemony, with citrus blossoms and honey. The palate remains similar, though its tropical fruit side expands, and a hint of salt appears. The finish matches the palate.


This turned out to be my favorite of the quartet, especially when diluted. Though it's not a complex whisky, its fruits nearly glow at times. The refill barrel just trims down the spirit's edges without intruding further, something always appreciated on this blog. I was happily surprised by this entire Taste Off (the quartet + 1), and now I'm thinking I should probably source some more Benrinnes samples someday soon.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 87

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