Scotch Whisky Review #389: Scott Fife’s Sutherlands Single Cask Distillery Collection Benrinnes 18 Year
Bottler: The Scott Fife Sutherland Malt Company.
Age: 18 Year. Distilled April 20th, 2000.
Color: 0.3, Pale Gold. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.
Nose: As you approach the glass there is this weird funk coming off of it, a really stinky funk that is not particularly pleasant. When you get your nose up to the glass, there’s a chocolate note but it is kinda still mixed with the funk. I don’t know what fermented chocolate smells like but I kinda imagine it would smell something like this. There’s a light lemon note that comes through as well.
Palate: The palate is quite chocolately from the start, not super sweet but it isn’t a bitter chocolate either. More of a semi-sweet dust/shaved chocolate. There’s a malt note as well and the combination of the two reminds me of chocolate Rice Krispie cereal. Some more lemon pops in here and there as well. With water, the chocolate notes intensify and drown out the citrus.
Finish: Medium in length. It is quite nice with notes of scorched rice (nurungji/누룽지), roasted barley tea (boricha/보리차), and barley rice being the mainstays. The scorched rice is the star here, giving off those lovely nutty and savory flavors. Some chocolate does sneak in here as well, especially after you add water.
Conclusion: I don’t know why, but I always find myself drawn to these independent bottlings that no one seems to have reviewed or you can find virtually nothing about online. Perhaps it is the mystery of it all or perhaps I’m just far more risk-tolerant with whisky than I am anything else in life. Whatever the reason, it’s had me rolling the proverbial dice on this bottle of Benrinnes from a company no one really knows anything about. Overall? I’m fairly happy with it. The palate is simple but quite tasty with loads and loads of chocolate notes. The finish is right up my alley with those various barley and scorched rice notes. The nose, however, is a problem. It’s quite stinky and can be quite unpleasant at times. Perhaps I should be thankful that allergy season is in full force and I can easily avoid the smells.
Final Score: 77.
Scotch Whisky Review #389, Speyside Review #140, Whisky Network Review #543
- 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.