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Friday, March 31, 2023

Benrinnes 20 year old 1997 SMWS 36.148

The big Benrinnes Taste Off continues, shifting to the quadruplets, four 20 year old independent bottlings of Benrinnes that were all distilled on the 15th of August, 1997.

More than 220 casks of 1997 Benrinnes have issued forth from indie warehouses, many of which are from this same date, so for some reason Diageo released a significant parcel of casks from 15/8/97 to the world. This is a good thing. Here are just four of 'em:

Distillery: Benrinnes
Ownership: Diageo
Region: Speyside (Moray)
Independent Bottler: Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Age: 20 years (15 August 1997 - 2018)
Maturation: refill bourbon barrel
Cask#: 36.148, "La Vie En Rose"
Outturn: 174 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 55.7%
(from a Columbus Scotch Night event)


The nose begins muted, mostly moss and brine, but then it picks up mint leaf. Then grapefruit. Then sour apple Jolly Ranchers. A ginger zzzzing wakes up the palate, followed by pears, circus peanuts, and hints of bitterness and lychee. The long finish matches the palate, along with a slight grassy side.

DILUTED to 46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

The nose becomes quite lovely with fresh lemons, orange blossoms, honey, and malt. Mellowing out, the palate focuses on pineapple, tangerine, sea salt, and tobacco leaf. It finishes with tangerines and caramel sauce.


Another good Benrinnes. The quirky, meaty Benrinnes character is on PTO here, replaced by a more comfy Speyside style. It seems to be two different whiskies when neat and diluted, both are fun drinks, but I'm leaning towards the 46%abv version right now. Onto the Blackadder on Monday...

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 86