For some of you reading old Benrinnes reviews from myself on reddit or on my webpage, you’ll be wondering why I take a silly approach and talk poorly about them.
You see, that was a joke brought up awhile ago. Around Reddit, not many people knew about Benrinnes. Or how good an ex-sherry Benrinnes could be. As such, when one of the top reviewers discovered a good one, they posted their reviews online in a quiet manner around the holiday season to ensure no one else found out about it.
Unfortunately I checked it constantly, noticed a good review, and bought a bottle. And then more samples. And then reviewed like everything. Also I told some other people.
Thus when I heard that Benrinnes SMWS 36.122 “A dark jungle of flavour” came out, I immediately jumped at it. Cask strength, first fill sherry. Yeah, I’m not a huge Oloroso fan, however how many more of these will we see? And for amounts I can afford?
I did the math. But did it work out? Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Date Distilled: March 2007
Age: 9 years
Cask Type: 1st fill Oloroso butt
Colour: 2.5Y 8/8
Nose: Black pepper on strawberries, raisin, butter, ginger
Immediate heat, earth, and strawberries. Which if you haven’t done before, I highly recommend, while out trying wine and keeping the lower classes down. You know, the usual.
Nice amount of sweetness and earth to this balances it out. It is young, so you’re not getting that full, in your face complexity that we have with older one, however it’s on it’s way.
Taste: Molasses, BBQ sauce, grapes, dark cocoa, strawberry
Nice mixture of strawberry and cocoa. It’s almost like that strawberry chocolate syrup that was only bought by 80s kids parents who thought their daughter needed the slightly “pink” bottle, less they become too manly.
Interesting mix of light acidity as well. The molasses really builds quickly as well and does well with the sweet aspect.
Finish: Cantaloupe, seafood sauce, cloves, raisin, chocolate
Again, an odd amount of acidity on the finish. Interesting amount of spice as well.
There are moments where the acidity isn’t helping. Or rather, there’s something that reminds me of seafood sauce while I’m having sweets, which is a mistake I’ll have you know I’ve only done 2 times sir/madam/helicopter.
Conclusion: Is this one of those Benrinnes from the time before, when the distillery was unknown and all those sherry casks were waiting about for us to drink them? No, it’s young, though it’s nice to know that it’s still possible to get something close to it.
Should this have stayed in the cask a few more years? I think so. However we need to make money now, right? Before the world is all fucked to ash and whatever children are around can’t enjoy it any more. Greedy buggers.
Suffice to say, I did enjoy this. I think I enjoyed the last release from SMWS that I had, the ex-bourbon cask, a little bit more.
End of the day, those wonderful days when we could obtain a really good Benrinnes sherry cask release without having to give up our collective souls (the band) is over. However this is a nod to that, and maybe a reminder that we should be a tad patient in our demand.
Scotch review #772, Speyside review #218, Whisky Network review #1271