SMWS 36.168 “Fruity, earthy, and exciting” Benrinnes 19 Year (2000)

Scotch Whisky Review #252: SMWS 36.168 “Fruity, earthy, and exciting” Benrinnes 19 Year (2000)

Distillery: Benrinnes

Bottler: SMWS

Region: Speyside

Age: 19 Year. Distilled in 2000, bottled in 2019.

ABV: 56.60%

Price: Sample courtesy of /u/b1uepenguin

Cask Type: Ex-Bourbon cask maturation, 1st fill Moscatel cask finish

Color: 1.4, Tawny.

This particular review was done blind.


Nose: First note out of the gates is a bit of something herbal. A lot of berries come through afterwards with some vanilla as well. I think it might be high in ABV, since it does clear out the sinuses quite well.

Palate: It desperately needs water. At full strength, it’s very sugary and hot. It’s almost like a mix of a malt drink and sugar. Thankfully, it cools down very nicely after a few drops of water. The sugar remains, but it is at a far more reasonable level. The berry mix from the nose is back as well, though I couldn’t pick out any specific ones. Caramel and warm malt biscuits round this out.

Finish: Medium-to-short in length. It’s a quite strange finish. There is an almost mineral-y finish. It’s almost like the aftertaste of sugar mixed with something rather earthy. Not a clue what it is, but it is a tad bit out there.


Guess: A young Speyside from first fill bourbon casks, probably bottled at cask strength. I’m going to guess Glen Elgin for the distillery.

Reveal: SMWS 36.168 “Fruity, earthy, and exciting” Benrinnes 19 Year (2000)


Conclusion: As far as things go with blind reviews, I’m happy to just get something right. This Benrinnes from SMWS delivers quite well on the first two parts of it’s name. It’s fruity, with berries throughout, and has a bit of earthiness in the finish. The last part of it’s name, exciting, is a little bit of a stretch as this seems to be a near cookie-cutter Speysider. Still, it is very well made and still quite tasty. Would I buy a bottle? Maybe.

Final Score: 81.

Scotch Whisky Review #252, Speyside Review #97, Whisky Network Review #388


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 (if feasible).
  • 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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