Last night I’ve started my annual whisky torture, also known as the BTC (Blind Tasting Competition) in some circles. It’s my 4th year in the competition and it’s never getting easy.
Day 1 sample was a clear ex-bourbon whisky with cask strength ABV. After sniffing and tasting I went with a random Highlands distillery and high ABV of 56%. I wasn’t sure about the age, at first I thought it’s either 9-11 or 16-18 but the tropical fruits and the lack of malt notes made me go with 17 years.
Then the whisky was revealed, from Benrinnes distillery (speyside region so zero points), 50% (I overshoot so no points) and 18 year old so at least in this category I got some points.
This whisky was distilled in 15.08.1997 filled into cask #906 and bottled in 01.02.2016, yielding 216 bottles.
WhB Benrinnes 18 Year Old (50%)
Nose: Pears, very minerally (assuming it’s partially due to high ABV), honey, hints of greenery, green fruit and ginger. With water: more honey and pears and less minerals and slowly developing nuttiness.
Palate: Honeyed and fruity with some tropical edge, oak spices, minerals (less than what felt on the nose), chalk and limestone, gentle white pepper. With water more tropical fruit, peaches, white pepper and oak spices.
Finish: Medium length, lingering pepper, honey, fruit sweetness and traces of minerals.
Thoughts: A nice Benrinnes that absolutely needs a few drops of water to blossom and reduce the minerality. With water, there’s fruit bouquet with pears, peaches and tropical fruit and a gentle nuttiness.