2003 Benrinnes 15 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt – Scotch Whisky News

A Sharply Priced Single Malt Exclusive from a Top Speyside Distillery
2003 Benrinnes 15 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky 
“Just a perfect whisky and maybe the best intro to Benrinnes we’ve ever bottled.”
— Andrew Whiteley, K&L NorCal Spirits Buyer

We’ve had huge success with Benrinnes over the past few years, and as a result, we’re always on the hunt for new casks from this excellent Speyside distillery known for its hallmark elegance and refinement. And that is precisely what we found with this exquisite 15 Year Old rendition. As our SoCal Spirits buyer, David Othenin-Girard, writes: “This cask is an absolute gem, especially if you love fruity spirit-driven malts…” Easy-drinking and immediately accessible, this is a must-have for those who crave a spirit that’s more nuanced and refined. But the quality of the spirits is only part of the story here, as we’re offering this exclusive cask for only $74.99. This is a remarkable value for a Scotch with such an impressive age statement. Finding such bottlings for under $100 is a rare feat, much less for under $75. If you’ve enjoyed our previous casks of Benrinnes, then you simply have to give this rendition a spin. It delivers everything we’ve come to expect and so much more. You’ll need to act quickly, as a groundswell of interest has made this one of the fastest-selling single malts in our portfolio.

2003 Benrinnes 15 Year Old “Old Particular” K&L Exclusive Single Refill Hogshead Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) ($74.99)

Benrinnes has become a staple on our shelves for the last several years. This isn’t simply because Benrinnes is available, but because the whiskies we taste from this lovely little facility are delicious. And while it’s true that it’s available relatively frequently, we’re picky about which casks come home with us. Benrinnes is unique for several reasons. Firstly, between 1974 and 2007, the distillery conducted an unusual semi-triple pot distillation whereby the feints from the wash still, weaker spirits still, and low wine still are included in the low wine distillation. The spirits still is fed by the foreshots and the heads of wash and low wine stills, and the heads and feints of the spirits still. Presumably, this was done to not waste any usable spirit, but the resulting malt is delicate and aromatic in a very unique way. Add the use of traditional worm tubs for cooling and it’s a recipe for one of our absolute favorite Speyside malts. We can only assume that the reason this excellent distillery isn’t marketed in the US as a standalone is due to its necessity in Diageo’s blending program. Now they’ve switched to a more traditional double distillation, which still produces an excellent if slightly more homogenous malt, but there’s something about the old way that’s endearing and appealing. This excellent cask shows the ubiquitous fruitiness that we’ve come to love in Benrinnes, but also some deep spice and tangy citrus thanks to a rather active cask.

David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 23, 2020

We’ve been on a bit of a Benrinnes bender these last few years. It’s just really hard to argue with the quality of this spirit and the value these incredible casks are able to offer. Last year’s 10 year sold well at $50, but that was distilled after the distillery flipped to its new double distillation system. It’s hard to tell whether it’s the added age or the old way of distilling that sets this one significantly apart from last year’s, but we’ve definitely graduated to the next level here. This cask is an absolute gem, especially if you love fruity, spirit-driven malts, rather than the cask-driven. The nose is a lovely mixture of cake frosting, ripe Mirabelle, touches of underbrush and sugar cookies. On the palate, sweet malt and slight grassy notes frame the lovely freshness and pure fruit perfectly. With water the intensity of the crystalline fruit is heightened. This is one of the cleanest, easiest-drinking malts in the shop right now. Easy, creamy and fruity, but don’t forget to add a drop of water or you’ll miss out on the fun. Too easy to drink and perfect for anyone, whether expert or novice, looking to have their first cask strength dram.

Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: November 29, 2019

Light and chewy are hard to do at the same time, but the old distillations of Benrinnes seem to achieve it every time. There is so much complexity to the malt itself, it’s mesmerizing. Tons of fruit ranging from pear and apple to stone fruit crossed with a touch of fresh cut hay and the texture of fine-crumb, hot-out-of-the-oven pound cake. A bit of zesty lemon peel and pilsner-bright barley offer a fresh but flavorful palate. A fine toasty oak on the finish rounds everything out and provides a bit of sweet spice and chocolate. Just a perfect whisky and maybe the best intro to Benrinnes we’ve ever bottled.

Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 28, 2020

It may have just passed but this would have been a great whiskey to celebrate the Lunar New Year with, perfect with dumplings and priced where I wouldn’t feel too bad if my relatives made a highball with it. The nose is sweet, with overly buttered toffee, cocoa powder, Asian pear, candied ginger, and goji berry. The texture was like watered down honey and just as sweet with a nice burn to it. Caramel banana, green apple, and cinnamon danced on my palate and left a oaky sweet tone with a bit of plum for me to ponder. Wonderfully light and expressive Scotch at a great price point.

Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 27, 2020

This Scotch is surprisingly floral, but still has a lot of leather on the nose which is a character I associate with Benrinnes. Violets mix with red berries and scents of black licorice. With more nosing, yeasty and bready notes emerge with touches of cocoa. On the palate, fruit and spice shine in a big way. There’s a lot of orchard fruit coming through plus cinnamon, mace, and chili. What I really like about this malt is that the fruitiness is clean and bright, rather than the heavy sherry-focused variety that’s all the rage right now in Scotch. It stays light and zesty through the entire sipping experience.

Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: January 23, 2020

Lighter in profile than many others on the shelf, this is a great deal in single malt whisky. The palate is very honeyed with crisp ripe pear, orange rind and sweet/sour lemon drop candy. A touch of cinnamon on the end adds some great spice and complexity. There’s nothing not to like about this one, and it lends itself as one of the most approachable single malt Scotches on the shelf.

Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: December 02, 2019

This is a balanced and absolutely delicious single malt. It is lively with a pretty floral nose with beautiful beeswax notes. In the mouth it is sweet and round with no smoke to get in the way of the lusty malt and subtle beeswax flavors. With a splash of water there is the same flavor profile as above but it is more open and is softer. This is very easy to drink and shows why it is always a pleasure to taste something from Benrinnes.

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