Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon hogshead
Added coloring: No
Owner: Rauff & Fagerberg
Average price: € 85.00
Official website: Contact on Instagram
I’ve been unsure whether or not to write this piece, as this is a really hard-to-find bottle, and since the inception of this blog one of the founding principles has been to only talk about bottles that are readily available.
I’m making an exception because this is a bottling from a distillery that I was very curious about, and because it comes from a company that deserves to be known.
But let’s talk about Benrinnes, which began producing whisky in 1826 thanks to its founder, Peter McKenzie, and a few years later found itself being rebuilt after a flood by John Innes, who called it Lyne of Ruthrie.
The name didn’t seem to bring much luck, the company soon went bankrupt, changed hands and acquired its current name thanks to William Smith, but other misfortunes struck (including a fire), and in 1922 it was taken over by John Dewar & Sons.
The new owners renovated and expanded the distillery over the years, which for some time applied triple distillation in the production of whisky, and is currently part of the giant Diageo, with only one official bottling.
Coming to this bottle, it comes from a single cask filled on 10 September 2009 that produced 313 bottles on 12 May 2020, bottled by Whiskybroker on behalf of Rauff & Fagerberg.
This is a very young Danish company, founded just in April 2020 by Jørn Rauff and his wife, which was born out of its owners’ more than ten-year passion for whisky and their desire to try bottling cask strength casks with a small group of enthusiasts in their home town of Odense, used as a “tasting panel”. Over time, the plan is to start collective tastings with their own bottles once they have produced enough, and although they don’t currently have a website, they can be contacted by email at email@example.com or on their Instagram profile.
An idea that has blossomed in the midst of a pandemic, a sign of positivity and vision for the future that I personally endorse and support with pleasure, and I thank Jørn for providing me with a generous sample.
Pale yellow in the glass.
Initially, the alcohol content on the nose is quite aggressive (as expected), but you just have to let the air do its job to tame it, revealing fresh aromas of freshly mown grass, tangerine and lemon. Pineapple and aniseed emerge in the background, all wrapped in a waxy softness.
On the palate, the high alcohol becomes a warm spice of nutmeg and cinnamon, with a touch of chilli, leading to soft aromas of hazelnuts, vanilla, marzipan, almond nougat and citrus. Honey and lemon embrace and chase each other throughout the tasting, maintaining a very appealing balance.
Quite long finish of hazelnuts, honey, citrus and lemon.
A whisky that is warm and fresh at the same time, knowing how to balance the high alcohol content with the delicacy of the aromas that are never overwhelmed but rather find the right support overall.
A truly remarkable debut, which leaves one longing to discover what other casks they will choose in the future.
Reviews of Benrinnes whisky in the blog:
Benrinnes 15yo Flora&Fauna
Reviews of Rauff & Fagerberg whisky in the blog:
Macduff 12yo by Rauff & Fagerberg