Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 15 Year

Review #21: Old Malt Cask Benrinnes 15 Year Old (1999)

Distillery: Benrinnes

Bottler: Hunter Laing

Region: Speyside

ABV: 50%

Age: 15 Years

Cask #: HL10891

Price: $7 for a 50 mL sample

Color: 0.6 Old Gold

Nose (according to the wife): Very light and sweet. Clearly some honey and some sherry. Prickles the nose just a little bit.

Palate: Wonderfully sweet and creamy. There’s a lot of fresh fruits—apples and citrus—layered with vanilla, honey, and cream. Delicious. It’s a little hotter than I thought it would be, but it probably shouldn’t be too surprising given the high ABV. With a bit of water, I get the slight bitter note of orange peels near the end.

Finish: Incredibly long. It starts with a little sweetness from the sherry before giving way to a slightly oily feel that reminds me of the aftertaste of shortbread. The very end of it is bitter and refreshing, like floral tea.

Conclusion: I grabbed a sample of this after seeing how many Benrinnes malts showed up in /r/Scotch’s top 100 (3 in the top 15). While this isn’t one of the ones listed, I can why they are rated highly. The palate and finish are incredible with nice complex layers that make for a delicious malt. The nose does let this one down as it is a bit plain, perhaps the folks who made the Macallan Edition No 3 need to work some of their magic on some of these. If I could find a bottle from this distillery around me easily, I’d probably keep one in my collection.

Final Score: 84

Scotch whisky review #21, Speyside review #8, Whisky Network Review #22


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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