Benriach The Sixteen Single Malt Scotch Whisky
In 1898, John Duff founded the Benriach Distillery in northern Speyside. A serial entrepreneur, Duff also owned the nearby Longmorn Distillery. The two distilleries were connected by a private railway, upon which a steam train (nicknamed “the Puggy”) transported coal, barley, peat and barrels. The 1890s were a time of great success for the Scotch industry, with more than 30 new distilleries opening during the course of the decade. The same year that Duff opened Benriach, however, the industry suffered a major blow when Pattinson’s Whisky, a prominent blender, went bankrupt. By 1900, Benriach had ceased production and began to operate solely as a malting facility for Longmorn. It was more than half a century before it began producing spirit again, when it was purchased by Glenlivet in 1965. In 1972, the distillery began producing peated malt, a rarity in Speyside. In response to Scotch’s increased popularity around the globe, Benriach increased production from two stills to four after being sold to Seagram’s in 1985, which used the distillate as a component in the company’s blended whiskies. It wasn’t until 1994 that Benriach released a Single Malt Whisky, a 10 Year Old. By 2001, Seagram’s was part of Pernod Ricard, and Benriach was operating for just three months of the year before being mothballed in 2002. Two years later, the distillery was purchased by an independent consortium headed by Scotch expert Billy Walker (today the master distiller of GlenAllachie). The group acquired Highlands distillery Glendronach in 2008 and Glenglassaugh Distillery (featured in Quarter 2’s selection) in 2013. The three distilleries were sold to Brown Forman in 2016, and in 2017 Dr. Rachel Barrie was appointed Master Blender of each. Under her guidance, Benriach launched a new portfolio of expressions in 2020, incorporating both unpeated and peated malt, and a number of different cask treatments. Originally launched in 2004, Benriach recently reintroduced The Sixteen to its lineup. Matured in a combination of sherry, ex-bourbon, and virgin American oak casks, the whisky shows layers of stone fruit, smooth creamy malt, wild honey and nutty oak spice.
Cask Type: Bourbon, Sherry, and Virgin Oak
Nose: Baked apple and creamy hazelnut malt with overtones of ginger-spiced apricot and honey.
Palate: Spiced stewed apple, stone fruit and mellow nutty oak, with honeyed malt and candied peel, and a trace of smoke.
Benriach The Sixteen
With winter officially upon us and holiday celebrations in full swing, I am moved to reflect on all that the year has brought. While this year has seen strife and suffering around the globe, we must remember that above all, we are one race of human beings, with more that binds us together than drives us apart. I hope that as you indulge in a dram of this quarter’s selection, you spare a thought for our fellow humans facing horrors that you and I can hardly imagine. Here’s to a more just and peaceful world in 2024.