Origin: Speyside (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Sherry
Added coloring: Yes
Average price: € 65.00
Official website: –
The Flora&Fauna series has its origins in the last century, when the then United Distillers decided to give a boost to the whiskies produced by the lesser-known distilleries in its portfolio, especially those without original bottlings because they ended up entirely in their blends, and so in 1991 it created a special series dedicated (initially) to 22 different distilleries.
The series didn’t have a name, only characteristic, very sober labels with bucolic illustrations, so much so that it was Michael Jackson who coined the name Flora&Fauna, which eventually became the official name.
The distilleries that have been part of the series at least once are:
Aberfeldy – Auchroisk – Aultmore – Balmenach – Benrinnes – Bladnoch – Blair Athol – Royal Brackla – Caol Ila – Clynelish – Craigellachie – Dailuaine – Dufftown – Glen Elgin – Glen Spey – Glendullan – Glenlossie – Inchgower – Linkwood – Mortlach – Mannochmore – Pittyvaich – Rosebank – Speyburn – Strathmill – Teannich
Bottled at a fixed alcohol content of 43%ABV, the whiskies were initially presented in an elegant wooden box like the one you see in the photo, which then became cardboard, until it was lost altogether (boxes are expensive).
Over time, the number of distilleries in the series has changed, either because some have been sold (such as Speyburn or Bladnoch), or because others have closed (such as Pittyvaich and Rosebank), and others have been added. A collection of cask strength bottlings also came out in 1998.
I have no way of knowing what era the sample in my hands came from, other than that it was a recent bottling.
A profile with somewhat rough edges emerges from the glass, with fruity tones (plum, dates, apricot, yellow peach) and spicy touches of cinnamon and nutmeg with tobacco and leather veins. With time, red fruits, candied orange, caramel, liquorice and chocolate are revealed, with a slight herbaceous influence. Sherried but without excess, pleasant and three-dimensional.
The palate is watered down, the aromas lose their thrust and settle into a more predictable score of red fruits, wood spices (impression of sandalwood and leather), a hint of citrus and liquorice. It is as if the whisky had fallen asleep, switched off, surrendered to the addition of water to lower the alcohol content.
Quite short finish of wood, hazelnuts, slight sulphurous touch, caramel.
Compared to the cask strength Benrinnes tasted a short time ago, you can see how the tamed gradation here really crushed a whisky with excellent potential, completely wasted in a forgettable dram.
Reviews of Benrinnes whisky in the blog:
Benrinnes 10yo by Rauff & Fagerberg