Tasting The Benriach On Whisky Israel


The Benriach distillery is located in the ‘Heart of Speyside’, between the village of Rothes and the town of Elgin, in the North-East of Scotland. It has a long history, originally built  in 1898 by John duff, who also constructed Longmorn, which is not far away.

The Benriach had seen long periods of closure and mothballing since 1990, until finally purchased in 2004 by a group of whisky lovers led by Billy walker (a former operations manager with Burn Stewart) and two south African partners (Geoff Bell and Wayne Kieswetter) which also purchased the Glendronach distillery. That year production was restored and older expressions which were aging in the warehouses were released. On the 7th of August 2004 the first bottling of BenRiach, under the new owners, took place. BenRiach ‘Heart of Speyside’ 12, 16 and 20 years old and the peated 10 year old were all bottled for the first time.BenRiach distillery, Elgin. photographs/Peter sandground©2009

On the 20th of September 2004 the first distillation under the new owners was filled to cask. 96 ‘green’ (i.e. first-fill bourbon) barrels are filled, numbered 1 to 96, and are immediately transferred to the BenRiach warehouses for maturation for at least 12 years.

Currently the Benriach offers a wide range of expressions starting from the 12 ,16,20 and the older (25,30,40), then the peated range with their lovely Latin names (a few of which I’ve reviewed in the past) : Curiositas,Authenticus, and the Fumosus series. Like its sister distillery The Benriach has also quite a few finished whiskies in it’s range : madeira, Port,Claret, Burgundy just to name a few.

BenRiach distillery, Elgin. photographs/Peter sandground©2009

In the next week or so, I will post my notes on a few whiskies from various lines, starting with the 12 year old, then the 16, Peated Madeira 13 yo, Rioja finish 17 yo, the 20 yo, and finishing with the 21 yo peated . So, join me in my wee journey, and watch this space in the coming few days.


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