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No: 12
Producer: Seagram
Region: Highland
District: Speyside(Lossie)  -   Multimap view
OS Sheet 28 ; Map reference NJ 235 584 ; Latitude 57 36° N, Longitude 3 16° W
Founded 1890s ; Operating Status (1999): operating

Next door to Longmorn, and under the same ownership. Both distilleries were built in the 1890s but Benriach closed down in 1900 and remained silent till it was reopened and rebuilt in 1965. In 1975 output was increased from 660,000 gallons/annum to 750,000 gallons/annum.
© Michael Jackson 1994, ms

Distillery rating: 3*

Longmorn, Elgin, Morayshire, IV3 3SJ
Tel: 01542-27471


SMWS bottling 12.3, 11yo, 115.2 deg (57.6%) proof, distilled 4/82:
Like Liquorice or Bitter Chocolate
Pale colour, but with the rich, sweet, vanilla nose, indicative of a bourbon cask. It is slightly sharp but loses the sharpness and the sweetness with water, when it changes dramatically to smell of leather and malt. The taste is very rich and aggressive, again like a bourbon, and intense like liquorice or bitter chocolate. The aftertaste is very dry.
SF mar 3

I have read that Benraich is favored by blenders for its ability to marry the flavors and aromas of other whiskys without intruding too much of itself. This may be so, but I found it to be an extremely pleasant malt on its own terms. The bottle lists a vintage of 1979, so it could be around 15YO. I would guess that malt like this does not sell so well in Kentucky, so it could be not quite as long in the barrel. This whisky is highly colored and richly flavored. My first impression was of warmth and soothing. Raisins and dates and, for you fellows, dark skinned beauties with long black hair. Boy! I was on my way. Subsequent impressions were citrusy and fruity; slightly sweet; and brown sug- ar. I happen to like sweetish whiskys, like the Macallan, and the Benraich, although not quite in the same ballpark with the Macallan, is sure in the same league. It possesses a lot of depth and, although rather warming, is quite mellow. My [miniature] was a Gorden and MacPhail bottling. 43% ABV with a *vintage* of 1969. Given the fact that it might have sat on the shelf where I bought it for a long time, I guess it to be a 25yo. It was excellent. [jh, 1995]

I must admit that I have found Benriach to be _very_ disappointing. It had all the depth of a cheap blend and the robustness of a watered-down bar drink IMHO. I have been told that I must have gotten a bad sample or it must have been my perceptions that were on the fritz. The other two folks (both of whom enjoy singles - Bowmore and Ben Nevis being their favorites) found the Benriach unsatisfying. I wonder, was it merely the sample that I had on hand? Unfiltered, cask strength, from Gordon & MacPhail at 13 (I think) years old. Mind though, I've never tried the *distillery* offering and so really can't say I've had Benriach. If given the chance I'll give the 10 year old official bottling a try - to be fair and because I don't even want to have a very short list of singles that I dislike. [rm, 1995]

Milroy's notes for Benriach are for a whisky that's much older than Robert's 13. I'm currently working on a table strength 19 from Gordon & Macphail and I'm very happy with it. this might be the first overtly woody whisky that I've liked because its flavors are so nicely integrated. I can imagine it being overly thin at 13 though. [anon, 1995]

Search Dr. Do'g's index for the history of Benriach
There just might be some news about Benriach in The "Scotsman" newspaper