So after a great tour at The Balvenie, we took off and drove toward Elgin to our next target: The BenRiach distillery which is located just off the road to Elgin, close by to Longmorn distillery.
The BenRiach distillery doesn’t have visitors center or regular tours, but due to the high demand (and after reading this post you’ll understand why), you can contact the distillery and try booking a tour with the distillery manager Ewan George. Since I love my BenRiach Solstice 17, I wanted to tour the place and managed to book place on the date and time I wanted.
So we arrived to BenRiach and waited patiently to Ewan. However, he wasn’t available so we had Calum, one of the core production team as our tour guide. He even features on the BenRiach brochure!
He asked us if it’s our first distillery tour and all ten of us said no and that shaped our tour in a pleasant way – we skimmed the standard tour part (barley, germinating, malting, mash tun, etc) and after 35 min or so we started the real tour – tasting fresh new make (out of the casks filling station). lovely fruity and spirity new make. Yum!
and than we moved to the highlight of the tour – the warehouse.
Since none of the visitors was whisky newbie, this part of the tour started with a bang – tasting a BenRiach sherry cask from 1975.
At this point, the warehouse tour became a 2 games part – tasting casks and trying to identify what cask type do we taste, and fulfilling our requests to taste specific casks (like peated BenRiach finished in PX)
This is the list of casks we tasted in the tour:
- 1975 Sherry
- 1997 Ex-Bourbon
- 1995 Madeira (pink cask)
- 1988 Finished in port since 2006
- 1994 Peated cask, finished in PX since 2008
- 2006 Peated cask, finished in Madeira since 2008
After the warehouse, we went back to the offices where I bought distillery exclusive BenRiach 1997, 16yrs Sauternes finish bottle.
If you love whisky, do yourself a favor – you MUST visit BenRiach (for the warehouse part). Since the casks sampled changes all the time, it’s prime target for additional visits – each visit will be different and the whisky is great!
Distillery In a nutshell
Name: The BenRiach Distillery
Owners: BenRiach Distillery Company Limited
Location: Longmorn, Elgin
Water source: Bourmade Spring
Stills: 2 x wash stills and 2 x spirit stills
Capacity (yearly): 2,800,000 Litres
Tour in a nutshell
Tours availability: By appointment only
Cost of tour: £25 (but worth every penny!)
Length of tour: 1.5 hours
Distillery Exclusive bottles: Benriach 1997 (16yrs) Sauternes finish
Food: Drive to Elgin for food