BenRiach Speyside Whisky Distillery
BenRiach, Gaelic for speckled mountain has a colourful and interesting past starting in 1897. The first opening was short lived and closed only a few years later however continued to supply the neighbouring Longmorn distillery with floor maltings. The timing of the opening couldn’t have been worse with the ‘Pattison Crash’ happening just a few months after opening. This crash led to many Glasgow whisky blenders going bust, many never to return. It also led to BenRiach closing in 1900 not to open again for another 65 years. During the boom times of 1960’s Glenlivet re-opened BenRiach and was later purchased by Chivas Brothers, Pernod Ricard and now the latest owner is a consortium (mainly of South Africans) but led by Scot Billy Walker formerly of Burn Stewart.
Despite the distillery opening in 1897 it wasn’t until 1994 that a single malt bottling was completed. This 10 year old was pretty disappointing and was replaced with a more exciting offering. Now BenRiach has both peated and unpeated offerings as well as some that are just a little bit different. Many bottlings are given Latin names to make them stand out from the crowd. With a quality 12 year old and award winning 16 year old, the marketing effort has paid dividends and BenRiach has had huge demand in Asia. From being one of the forgotten distilleries it has turned around in fortunes and the owners are now trying to revive other forgotten brands.
Taste: A honey of a malt whisky with fruity taste this 12 year old is good value.
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