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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Benriach 32 year old 1987 Gordon & MacPhail, cask 19/005

What is going on here? Three 90-point whiskies in a row?! That's just weird, and totally irresponsible of me. Let's see if I can find the repressed curmudgeon in me.

Distilled during Benriach's Seagram era, today's whisky spent some or all of its 32 years in a refill sherry hoggie before it was conveyed into 213 of G&M's fancier thicker Connoisseurs Choice bottles, each secured within its own wooden casket. I don't have much more to add, and most of this information can be found below. Time to drink.

Distillery: Benriach
Current Ownership: Brown-Forman
Owner at time of distillation: Seagram Distillers
Region: Speyside (Lossie)
Bottler: Gordon & MacPhail
Range: Connoisseurs Choice Cask Strength
Age: 32 years (15 June 1987 - 26 July 2020)
Cask #: 19/005
Maturation: refill sherry hogshead
Outturn: 213 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 51.1%
(from a bottle split)


In the nose, notes of orange oil, eucalyptus, and marzipan are framed by musty old oak and newspapers. The palate is neither too tannic nor bitter. Instead, sweet oranges and white cherries lead the way, followed by hints of walnuts, ginger powder, and vanilla. It finishes with tart plums, walnuts, nutmeg, caramel sauce, and slightly more obvious oak.

DILUTED to ~46%abv, or ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky

More caramel and marzipan appear in the nose, it also becomes more floral, while taking on hints of lychee, and limes. The palate is mostly toasty oak spices, with sweet citrus and honey in the background. The finish mostly mirrors the palate, but picks up a touch of woody bitterness.


This is a very good whisky, a bit adventurous on the nose, but a model mellow modern Speyside in the palate, something to drink casually. Now, if that's what you want in a $600 whisky, then have at it. Perhaps if it wasn't paired with Monday's '71 Benriach, then this '87 may have shown brighter. But I can only write what I experienced in the tasting, and that is a Benriach Anytimer with a problematic QPR. The curmudgeon returns!

Availability - Still available in Europe more than 3 years later
Pricing - $575 to $625
Rating - 85