Benriach unveils new core whisky range and redesignBy Nicola Carruthers
Speyside distillery Benriach has revealed a new core range of single malts and a refreshed look for the series.
The range comprises 10-year-old expressions Original Ten (43% ABV) and Smoky Ten (46% ABV), and 12-year-old bottlings The Twelve and The Smoky Twelve, which are both bottled at 46% ABV. In addition, the series features 21-year-old, 25-year-old and 30-year-old bottlings, which all carry an ABV of 46%. The range comes with a new design inspired by Speyside’s natural location.
The core range features new recipes for Benriach’s Original Ten and the “richly Sherried” 12-year-old (RRP £44/US$57), the latter of which will include Port and Bourbon casks. Original Ten (RRP £38/US$49) has matured for 10 years in Bourbon barrels, Sherry casks and virgin oak.
Meanwhile, the 10-year-old and 12-year-old Smoky expressions have been distilled during the distillery’s smoky season.
The 10-year-old Smoky bottling (RRP £42/US$55) was matured in a combination of Bourbon barrels, toasted virgin oak and Jamaican rum casks, offering “layers of sunripe fruit, aromatic smoky sweetness and toasted oak spice”. The “creamy and smooth” Smoky 12-year-old (RRP £48/US$62) was matured in three casks – Bourbon, Sherry and Marsala.
Benriach master blender Dr Rachel 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 reimagines 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 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 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.”
The 21-year-old (RRP £145/US$189), 25-year-old (RRP £325/US$423) and 30-year-old (RRP £650/US$846) expressions offer an “extremely rare opportunity to discover the exquisite integration of flavour resulting from decades of maturation”. The whiskies have been matured in distinctive oak casks that bring “complex layers of refined and mellow smoke”.
The 21-year-old bottling is described as having an “elegant” level of smoke, while the 25-year-old offers “mellow layers of honey malt and caramelised smoke”. Meanwhile, the 30-year-old has a complex level of smoke.
Benriach will also release a new small batch, limited edition Malting Season expression to mark the site as one of two Speyside distilleries to practice traditional floor malting. Benriach’s seasonal peated spirit production will also inspire a new Smoke Season bottling, which “explores the full intensity of Benriach’s fruit-forward smoky spirit, amplified through bespoke cask selection”.
Benriach Smoke Season will launch later this year and Malting Season will be available in spring 2021.
Barrie will also continue to select individual casks to be bottled as part of the Cask Edition programme.
In addition, Benriach will continue to offer a travel retail range featuring the 10-year-old Triple Distilled, Quarter Cask and Smoky Quarter Cask expressions.
The new Benriach range will be available globally from September 2020.