Benriach Distillery, known for doing things a little differently, is rolling out a new core range, which will be available in Australia’s off- and on-premise over the coming weeks and months.

The new nine-whisky range from the Speyside distillery has been crafted by Whisky Hall of Famer Rachel Barrie and presents expressions that span the full spectrum of whisky flavour. Benriach is one of just two distilleries in Speyside to still practice traditional floor malting on site and this will be celebrated in a new small batch and limited ‘Malting Season’ expression. Benriach also is one of the few Speyside distilleries to peat its malt as well and so is able to produce ‘smoky’ Speyside, which is celebrated in the new core range.

The range comprises Benriach Original Ten, plus a richly sherried 12-year-old and a Quarter Cask expression. Then comes Smoky 10, Smoky 12 and Smoky Quarter Cask, with a premium selection of Twenty One, Twenty Five and Thirty Year Old Single Malt bringing some delightful expressions of maturation to the range.

Barrie said: “The new range perfectly marries tradition and innovation that is central to Benriach’s story. Inspired by the 1994 bottling of the Original Ten, with its fruit-laden complexity and smooth, rounded taste, the new range re-imagines the 1898 origins of Benriach, brought to life in the 21st century through fusing distilling styles with extraordinary casks.

“In the new Original Ten, a more richly flavoured, rounded malt character might be discerned, whilst The Twelve balances richly sherried malt with added layers of fruit complexity, reaching a pinnacle at twelve years old.

“The new Smoky Ten and Smoky Twelve explore the sweet smokiness of Benriach, enriched through innovative combinations of rum, virgin oak and Marsala casks interwoven with more traditional Bourbon and Sherry.

“The new Benriach range is for those open to new possibilities, building on a wealth of experience and tradition. I invite the drinker to join me on this creative journey, as we explore the rich rewards of Single Malt whisky.”

Barrie’s notes on each new expression are:

  • Original 10 “Luscious orchard fruit on a base of beautiful vanilla cream and pastry, that for me is The Original Ten.”
  • Smoky 10 “Intense smoked applewood flavour with honeyed sugar maple, all woven together with rich layers of smoke.”
  • Twelve “Sherry rich maturation and layers of dark berry fruit encapture the flavours of Benriach in the autumn.”
  • Smoky 12 “For me it’s baked orange in a wonderful cake, fired over an open fire, with dark chocolate flavour.”
  • Twenty One “A beautiful reflection of the landscape around Benriach. A real sense of mountain oak spice, fruit, creamy malt and elegant layers of smoke.”
  • Twenty Five “Rich baked fruits, honeyed malt and a caramel smoke finish elevate the sumptuous, rich flavour of this four cask matured expression.”
  • Thirty “An incredible intensity of flavour and exceptional refinement. The deepest, richest expression of Benriach on every level.”

She adds: “With three Speyside styles of whisky and an eclectic collection of casks, there is such an exceptional palette of flavours to work with at Benriach, allowing me to create rich, multi-layered single malts.

“I’d compare the range of casks and styles to the different shades and tints on an artist’s palette. Except, instead of using them to paint with colour, I have the chance to paint with flavour.”

Australia can expect to see the Original 10, 10-Year-Old Smoky and 12-Year-Old in the coming weeks, with the 12-Year-Old Smoky coming just after Christmas. The Premium Twenty-One, Twenty-Five and Thirty-Year-Old expressions will land on our shores next year.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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