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Benriach Overhauls Its Core Scotch Single Malt Whisky Portfolio

The Benriach Distillery is associated with a whisky making heritage that dates back from 1898 when founder John Duff built it. Benriach stands on the site of the old Riach farm in the north Speyside region of Scotland, drawing water from a mineral-rich aquifer deep beneath it. Owned by Brown-Forman, the distilling team here has done a revamping of the core whisky portfolio.

What’s described as Benriach’s new core portfolio, according to those behind it, includes two new bottlings “inspired by brand origins” and refreshed packaging for all four. These include The Original Ten, The Original Twelve, The Smoky Ten and The Smoky Twelve, with all said to represent “the diversity and versatility of Benriach’s orchard fruit-laden style.”

Benriach core portfolio 2020
The revamped Benriach core portfolio for 2020 (image via Brown-Forman)

“The new range perfectly marries tradition and innovation that is central to Benriach’s story,” said Rachel Barrie, Benriach Master Blender, in a prepared statement. “In the new Original Ten, a savory, rounded malt character might be discerned, whilst The Twelve balances richly sherried malt with added layers of fruit complexity, reaching a pinnacle at 12 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 cask mingled 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 lush rewards of single malt whisky.”

You’ll find official information on each below, including tasting notes. Plans call for all four to hit store shelves in October, sporting updated packaging that is, noted the brand, “reminiscent of the very first Benriach single malt released over two decades ago, with the portfolio color palette taking inspiration from Speyside’s natural environment in which the distillery sits.”

The Original Ten

  • Three cask matured: Bourbon, Sherry, Virgin Oak
  • 43% ABV
  • around $54 per 750 ml bottle
  • Tasting Notes:
    • Color:          Summer Gold
    • Nose:          Rich orchard fruit, honey and toasted oak
    • Palate:        Ripe pear, nectarine and malt sweetness
    • Finish:        Almond and spiced vanilla
    • Smoke:      Trace 

The Smoky Ten

  • Three cask matured: Bourbon, Jamaican Rum, Toasted Virgin Oak
  • 46% ABV
  • around $60 per 750 ml bottle
  • Tasting Notes
    • Color:          Bright gold
    • Nose:           Ripe orchard fruit syrup, smoked honey glaze and oak spice
    • Palate:        Smoked applewood, honey maple and spiced pear
    • Finish:         Lingering fruit and smoked oak
    • Smoke:      High 

The Original Twelve  

  • Three cask matured: Sherry, Bourbon, Port
  • 46% ABV
  • around $60 per 750 ml bottle
  • Tasting Notes
    • Color:          Golden bronze
    • Nose:          Maple honey, cocoa and baked forest fruit
    • Palate:        Maraschino cherry, baked orange and hazelnut
    • Finish:         Lingering raisins and spiced mocha
    • Smoke:      None

The Smoky Twelve 

  • Three cask matured: Bourbon, Sherry, Marsala Wine
  • 46% ABV
  • around $65 per 750 ml bottle
  • Tasting Notes
  • Color:          Burnished gold
    • Nose:           Smoked vanilla, charred orange and toasted almond
    • Palate:        Dark chocolate, fruit peel, brown sugar and smoked oak
    • Finish:         Cocoa and orange smoke
    • Smoke:      High 

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Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and provided tasting input on many whiskeys at competitions. He also maintains a large private collection of whiskey from which he continually educates his palate on this brown spirit type.

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