BENRINNES 12 years Douglas of Drumlanrig

Europe is confined but isn't it the occasion to let your spirit wander and discover its whisky cellar and the more unknown distilleries.  


So I imagine myself on the whisky road in Speyside, at the exit of the small town of Charleston of Aberlour, embarking with my faithful Brad Peat on the small road towards Mount Rinnes and the BENRINNES distillery.

I heard about that distillery in Diageo. Of course, it does not have the largest range of Scottish distilleries (1 15 years old version called Flora & Fauna) but there are many independent bottlers versions. Today, we are going to discover the one of DOUGLAS OF DRUMLANRIG: the 12 years old version released in 2015.

But first of all, let's continue our journey towards the mountain that gave its name to the distillery. Shortly before we get there, the red chimney of the boiler room appears on our right. Here we are. Once again we have a rendezvous with the history of Malt as the distillery was founded here in Banffshire in 1826. OK it won't last long, as this seemingly peaceful place was the scene of a big landslide which simply destroyed everything in its path (don't worry, that was almost 200 years ago and it hasn't happened again since). I don't talk about fires, wars and crises, but I can say that before she joined Diageo she didn't have the most peaceful life there is.


Anyway we are here on the spot at 200 meters of altitude but the distillery is closed because of confinement and yes! 



We won't see today what makes it special in the middle of the speyside: the "quasi" triple distillation or at least the distillation by triple stills (whereas usually we have a double distillation): to sum up, here we have a big still wash still and a pair of spirit stills. Nothing is lost. Usually the beginning (head) and the end (tail) of the first spirit goes back into the wash of the next batch, but here it is sent to a second spirit (from or triple distillation). This method would give more smoothness to the distillates. We will see.


So today, no more Flaure & Fauna because the distillery is closed, so we will have to rely on a nice and young 12 years old Douglas of Drumlanrig.



So basically BENRINNES whiskies are renowned for their fleshy and well-soaked character? but what about the one we have today?


On the nose it is indeed quite fleshy and pastry (you almost smell like custard). But beware not just any custard, a cream that smells first of all like sherry and then more and more lemony citrus fruits (perhaps it's more of a Scottish cream than a custard!).


In the mouth there is no more cream but the sherry notes left by the barrel that enters first in the mouth. They take their place well but leave on the sides of the tongue light notes of herbaceous bitterness and more and more lemony notes that will come to make it more and more fresh in the mouth.


Once swallowed it is the sherry that remains in the throat.


In the palm of your hand, however, there are a few notes of smoke.


This whisky is good but it is not the best one we have tasted. Nevertheless, its fleshy side makes it a part of many Blends compositions of the band Diageo.


Nevertheless, it will be without hesitation that I will come back here at the foot of Mount Rinnes, once the confinement is over!


So before being bottled in 2015 by the bottler, this distillate has been put in sherry butt in 2003 and stayed there for 12 years.

Anyway we are here on the spot at 200 meters of altitude but the distillery is closed because of confinement and yes!