Review 440: Benrinnes 1997 18 Year

benrinnes199718yovalinchThere is a new independent bottler in town it’s called Valinch & Mallet and is founded in 2015 by two Italian guys living in London. Their website is still under construction so no extra info there. Well let’s wait for their website and I’ll update the information later.

I had the change to taste this at the Whisky Festival of North Netherlands (WFNN-2016) at the stand of Thijs Dijkstra who was the first in the Netherlands to offer it for tasting on a festival.

Distillery:Benrinnes Distillery
Location:Aberlour, Banffshire
Water Source:Scurran Burn & Rowantree Burn
Stills:2 Wash stills
4 Spirit stills
Capacity:2.500.000 litres of pure alcohol per year

Expression:Benrinnes 1997 18 Year
Category:Single Malt
Bottled by:Valinch & Mallet - Hidden Casks Collection
Age:18 Year
ABV (% Alc):52.5%
Non-chill filtered:Yes
Natural colour:Yes
Phenols (smoke):0 ppm on barley
Distillation date:1997
Bottle date:2015
Maturation:Bourbon Hogshead
Cask number:892
Bottle number:240 Bottles
Bottle content:70cl


A rich, fruity, sweet and balanced whisky with aromas of berries (redcurrant, blueberries, elderberries) red apple, pineapple, pear, rhubarb, pear drops, coconut, mango, fruit tea, floral tones, vanilla, honey, candied ginger, fresh ripe plums, perfume towns, earthy tones, fruit cake, hint of coffee, milk chocolate, anise milk, cedar wood, grappa, licorice, white pepper, citrus and a faint tone of oak.

A powerful, rich, spicy and sweet whisky with aromas of a salty tone, honey, pepper, the alcohol is quite present, icing sugar, golden syrup, berries, apple, fresh figs, backed pear, pineapple, cinnamon, stem ginger, subtle tannins, pear drops, hint of cedar wood, lemon curd and creamy oak.

A medium, sweet and slightly drying finish with aromas of ripe fruits, tannins, sweet backing spices, milk chocolate and creamy oak.

  • 8.7/10
    Smell: - 8.7/10
  • 8.5/10
    Taste: - 8.5/10
  • 8.4/10
    Finish: - 8.4/10


This is quite a sweet dram with a bitter finish. The casks seems not to have been that active. after four drams out of this range i detect a similarity in these whisky’s and that is that the casks are inactive and have very little influence on the dram. At least to little cask influence according to my preferences. It lacks depth, character and complexity which I expect from an independent bottling.
Not a bad sip but not spectacular either.

Price to quality ratio: 77,60% (Telgen weighted factor score)

Telgen scoreAdvice
0% - 60%Extremely overpriced whisky - not worth buying!
60% - 70%Highly overpriced whisky - think about it
70% - 80%Too expensieve - do you really want it?
80% - 85%No bargain - taste before you buy!
85% - 90%Acceptable price to quality ratio
90% - 95%Good price to quality ratio - always good to stock-up on
95% - 100%Bargain! - Buy it before it is sold out!