This is one I’ve wanted to try for quite a while. Benrinnes in Sherry is always a pleasure to taste. The slightly sulphury, meaty style (from those worm tubs) is one I absolutely love, along with Mortlach and of course Ledaig.
With a bottle of the 23 tucked away for a rainy day, I knew I needed to try this 21yo version from a few special releases back to see how it would stack up.
I did see it on amazon at one point for £170, which is well below the asking price but never went for it as that’s pretty much what I paid for the 23.
Benrinnes 21 Special Releases 56.9%
Nose: Like a Ledaig without the peat smoke. Meaty and intense, lovely floral undertone with geranium, black pepper, very light raspberry, sulphurous orange. Red grape and dry cherry.
Water: Brings out the chocolate mousse I was looking for. More raspberry, more balance, more florals. More mineral after a bit.
Taste: Dry, black pepper, meaty intensity then some red apple and raspberry. Quite spicy though, dry too with coffee.
Water: Chocolate mousse, still spicy, intense and meaty, malt too, more chocolate and a little mineral.
Finish: Long length. Slightly mineral but some apple. With water it's more dry and chocolatey with cocoa powder.
Distilled 1992, released 2014. I spent a long time with this, letting it open up, adding water and then letting it open up more but it never got to the balance or deliciousness I was looking for. Still great stuff, just not worth the £250.
Thanks for reading!
Scotch Review #493
Whisky Network Review #569
Network Average: 74.5
Best Score: 92
Worst Score: 22
60-64 Just About OK
65-69 Ok to Good
75-79 Very Good
Full Disclosure Disclaimer: I currently work as a Brand Ambassador for Penderyn Distillery. The views expressed here are purely my own and do not reflect the views of Penderyn Distillery or The Welsh Whisky Company. I try to maintain as much objectivity as I can but feel free to take my reviews with as big a pinch of salt as you like. Furthermore, my rating scale is NOT based on a Parker type wine scoring scale or a school/college/university % or A-F grade score. You can find more on my scoring here. I apologise for any seemly low or 'bad' scores given with my system and am sorry I can't say only nice things. Please keep in mind that I am ethically compromised and am unable to produce 100% unbiased reviews.