[Quick review] Benrinnes - 16 years old 2007 Cadenhead's in the Courtyard 2023 55.4%


Picture courtesy of www.scotchwhiskyauctions.com

Distillery: Benrinnes

Bottler: Cadenhead's

Age: 16 years old

Distilled: 2007


Cask: ex-Bourbon and Fino since September 2020

Abv: 55.4%

Unchillfiltered: Yes

Natural Colour: Yes

Nb of bottles: n/a

Price: Around £70

Extra: Bottled for Cadenhead's in the courtyard 2023

My tasting notes:

Nose: Sweet, fruity and gently oaky, yellow fruit, peach and apricots, mirabelle plumb jam, nutmeg, candied ginger in dark chocolate, gentle oak spice and hints of citrus, lemon shortbread, toffee, a little char, some sea salt and waxiness too. Very inviting!

Palate: Drying bitterness, slightly briny, underripe olives, 100% dark chocolate, quite astringent and the 55.4% abv is definitely here. There are some sweeter notes in the background but they struggle to get through the 'bitter briny barrier' which makes your eyes squint whilst drawing all the moisture from your mouth and tongue. Looks like this one might benefit from a bit of water to unlock all the flavours available...

Finish: Warming with more Fino sherry notes present, slightly earthy, salt, almond, fresh oak wood and bitter/sour cherry notes too. 

With water: Sweeter and even fruitier nose, marmalade and still with some waxiness. Quite a few drops of water later, the palate become way less astringent and more approachable, now with some rich spicey honey, orange blossom, baking spice, a little pepper, sea breeze and hints of sultanas. This is much better. The finish is warming and spicy with more sultana notes, runny honey on granola.

The nose on this one is amazing, both with and without the water, but the palate is too much for me without the addition of (quite a bit of) water. Only then does this Benrinnes start to shine. It has been a while since I much preferred the 'watered-down' version but this one is definitely one of these!

I guess when that happens, it makes your bottle go way further! Shame I only have a sample of it, and thank you again to my friend Gabe for it.

Slàinte all!


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