About BenRiach 21 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Amidst the lush greenery, in the heart of Speyside, sits the pagoda-style roof of the Benriach distillery, a facility that has been producing single malt Scotch since 1898. The area of Moray is known for its funnel shape, with the tip pointed to the source of the River Spey. Benriach sits at the very center of this funnel, just outside the town of Elgin. The story of Benriach is one of resilience. In 1897, John Duff built the distillery after his early success with his Glenlossie and Longmorn distilleries. He even built a railroad in 1990 to move supplies back and forth between the two shops.
The timing of his ambitious pursuits, however, proved problematic. Following the Pattison crash of 1899 and the downturn of the domestic market, Benriach, along with many other distilleries, were fated to close. The distillery had barely been operational for two years before being made almost irrelevant for 65 years. During these 65 years, the plant remained operational solely as a malting facility for Longmorn. The two sister distilleries were essentially consolidated into a single working unit with Benriach producing the grain and Longmorn distilling it.
But the 1960s were good to Benriach as well as the entire industry, and the facility remained operational from 1965 onwards. In 2004 the distillery was bought out by a private entity who released a true Benriach single malt whisky. The distillery eventually fell under the ownership of The BenRiach Distilling Co. which also took (befittingly) the Glendronach and Glenglassaugh distilleries under its umbrella. Under the guidance of former blender Billy Walker, the floor maltings reopened in 2013, and distillery production resumed with full throttle. The distillery was acquired by Brown-Forman in 2016. They now produce up to 2.8 million liters per year. Fruit defines the heart of Benriach's character, specifically, distinct notes of pears and peaches.
It's with the Benriach 21 that their range turns from 3-cask maturation to 4 casks for their older spirits. Crafted by Master Blender Rachel Barrie, this expression is a blend of peated and unpeated whisky that has spent at least 21 years in ex-bourbon, sherry, virgin oak, and Bordeaux wine casks. This mellows the gentle sweet smokiness, making it blend together with the fruity and oaky notes. The resulting profile with honeyed smoke is rich, complex, and deep, coming together beautifully balanced once the liquids are married together. "A beautiful reflection of the landscape around Benriach. A real sense of mountain oak spice, fruit, creamy malt and elegant layers of smoke," says Barrie of the single malt that is bottled at 92 proof.
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Scotch is the most popular whisky in the world and is considered the king of them all! There are five whisky regions in Scotland (six if you count the not officially recognized Islands), and each of them produces spirits with unique properties and distinct tasting notes. (The type of grain used determents the type of the scotch.)
Malt whisky is made of malted barley, and grain whisky uses other grains like corn or wheat. Most of the time, a whisky is blended from different distilleries hence the name blended scotch, but if a malt whisky is produced in a single distillery, we get something extraordinary called a single malt.
Check out our impressive selection of scotch whiskies, find your new favorite in the Top 10 scotch whiskies, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find scotch whiskies.