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Monday, February 26, 2024

Benriach 42 year old 1971 Whiskybroker

Whiskybroker.co.uk has a throwback vibe (I think I know what those words mean). Their prices are fair, their packaging is minimal, and their labels rarely have more than three colors. Owner Martin Armstrong — yes of those Armstrongs — stays very transparent about his struggles and successes via that Bookface website, which allows many a whisky nerd to fantasize about what it'd be like to run their own indie scheme.

It's because of Whiskybroker's restrained pricing that I was able to participate in a bottle split of a FORTY TWO year old Benriach single cask. The spirit produced by this distillery during the Glenlivet Distillers years (1965-1978) has quite the fruity reputation. This is my sixth (probably last) opportunity to try Benriach from this era, so I'm looking forward to this!

Distillery: Benriach
Current Ownership: Brown-Forman
Owner at time of distillation: Glenlivet Distilleries
Region: Speyside (Lossie)
Bottler: Whiskybroker
Age: 42 years (1 September 1971 - 29 November 2013)
Maturation: ???
Outturn: 189 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 40.8% (close call!)
(from a bottle split)


The nose delights with apricot preserves, mango juice, orange peel, and fig jam. Some dunnage here, something brothy there, and a pumpernickel note in the background.

The palate's apricot preserve note is remarkable. This is whisky, right? Bits of mango and lime float underneath; a hint of lychee, too. It gets tarter with time, also picking up some bitter citrus. Ah, and the mango expands too.

It finishes with a cocktail of mango, blood orange, cherry juice, and mint leaf.


Oh my. Yummy. The only thing preventing this whisky from being an all-timer is the ABV, which results in a conspicuous fragility and brief finish; though those factors only further contribute to my desire for seconds, thirds, and fourths on the whisky. Had the angels not picked away at this cask like vultures, I'm not sure how high this Benriach's ceiling would be. Maybe 1960s Longmorn? But I shall not ponder what could have been. This excellent pour results in the 3rd 90-pointer in a row, which I'm pretty sure has never happened here before.

Availability - Sold out
Pricing - ???
Rating - 90