This 1999 vintage of the Benrinnes Single Malt Whisky was aged exclusively in a a single ex-bourbon barrel and comes from a time when Benrinnes still used a partial triple distillation process which they abandoned for the more standard double distillation process in 2007. Benrinnes has no official releases of it’s own and we owe our enjoyment of it to NDPs like Signatory, Gordon & MacPhail, etc. However it does put out the Stronachie brand which is a 12 year old Benrinnes and is a “tribute” to the old Stronachie distillery.
Located in the Speyside region the site where the current distillery sits, and the distillery itself, has had an interesting history. In 1826 a distillery called Lyne of Ruthrie was built on the site, in 1829 it was destroyed in a flood, rebuilt in 1835 and then went bankrupt. It was sold to a man named William Smith who changed the name to Benrinnes, but that didn’t quite stop the bad luck as the distillery caught fire in 1896, but was able to be rebuilt that same year. In 1955 it’s then owners (John Dewar’s & Sons) rebuilt it again.
Benrinnes 1999 Signatory Vintage 12 Years Review
Age: 12 years
Crisp and refreshing it comes out of the glass with a complex fruit that’s a mix of orchard and tropical. Notes like green apples, banana, pear, coconut, apricot and mango are pervasive in this whisky and are joined by notes of vanilla, caramel, malt and graham. Add a splash of water and the malt and graham move up a bit and a touch of wood appears.
Like the nose it’s a cornucopia of crisp complex fruit accompanied by notes of vanilla, honey, butterscotch pudding, malt and Nilla wafers. Water brings out more of the orchard fruit notes along with some cinnamon and white pepper.
Long and winding fade of bananas, green apples, malt, cinnamon and mint.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Perfectly balanced with a nice full body and oily texture that has relatively low alcohol burn even at full cask strength.
This cask strength Benrinnes is really good. It’s rich and crisp across the entire delivery and everything about it just screams deliciousness. From the complex fruity aspects to the warm sweet malty ones that give it balance and depth it’s everything I want in a good Speyside whisky.