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Whiskymag 137 July _Aug 2016

Benrinnes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Speyside Distillery Information.

Benrinnes Distillery History.

Ben Rinnes (840m/2759ft) is the dominant mass among the mountains overlooking the heart of Speyside. From the summit on a clear day you can see much of the lower Spey Valley, the mass of the Cairngorm Mountains and to the north, the sweep of the Moray Firth, with distant Easter Ross and Sutherland hills beyond.


The Ben Rinnes Mountain gives its name to the Benrinnes distillery located at 213m/700ft on its northern edge. Alfred Barnard stated the height of the distillery at 1030ft although Benrinnes' own label gives a lower height of 700ft.


The Benrinnes Distillery is one of six distilleries immediately below the summit of the mountain that make use of that precious clear water from the Scurran and Rowantree burn The waters are from the snow-melt which runs down that hard-stone face of Ben Rinnes


The Benrinnes distillery was first established in 1826 only to be swept away by the great Speyside floods of 1829. In 1835 a new distillery by William Smith & Co. was built.Early history of the distillery indicates that it was very much run as part of a farm, with various outhouses being converted. The distillery has enjoyed almost continual production with only short breaks for the war years.


The Edward family acquired Benrinnes distillery in 1864, from William Smith & Co. who had become bankrupt. On the death of David Edward, young Alexander Edward inherited the distillery, along with the family estate near Forres. This started him in a high-profile career as a whisky promoter and entrepreneur around the turn of the century. His others distilleries at the time included Aultmore and Oban.


A fire brought about rebuilding (including the installation of electric light) in 1896 however Benrinnes remained a combined farm/distillery. After the down turn in the market triggered by the Pattison Crash of 1900 combined with prohibition in America and the 1920s depression also took their toll. Finally the distillery was sold to John Dewar & Sons Ltd of Perth in 1923, became part of DCL in 1925 Ownership then passed to Scottish Malt Distillers in 1930


A new distillery was built in 1956.with the Saladin Box malting system replacing the floor maltings. Then in 1964 the set of three stills was doubled to two sets (6 Stills) in 1966. The distillery uses a type of triple-distillation – rare but not unique in Scotland –to produce spirit of around 76% vol., several degrees more than is customarily achieved with double distillation. Benrinnes offers the opportunity to see worm-tubs, the traditional pipe-spirals immersed in cold water, to condense the vapours produced by the stills.


As a malt whisky it is highly prized by blenders and is a long time contributor to Crawford blended Scotch whiskies (A.A. Crawford licensee). First released as single malt in 1991


Benrinnes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery Bottlings

Benrinnes 15 Year Old Flora & Fauna


Benrinnes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Distillery Bottlings

Benrinnes 21 year old 1974 Rare Malts Selection


Benrinnes Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Independent Bottlings  


Bladnoch Forum


Connoisseurs Choice (Gordon & MacPhail)

Dewar Rattery

Dun Bheagan,

Hart Brothers,

Mackillop’s Choice

Old Malt Cask (Douglas Laing),

Scotts Selection (Speyside Distillers)

Un-Chill Filtered  (Signatory).

Benrinnes Distillery, Aberlour,


 AB38 9NN

Tel: +44 (0)1340 871215


No Visitor Centre.

Founded in 1824

Location Speyside Aberlour Region

Water Source Scurran and Rowantree Burn.


Distilling Equipment

Stainless Steel Mash Tun,

8 Oregon pine Washbacks,

2 Wash Stills 4 Spirit Stills Grouped in threes; Part of the spirit is tripled distilled.

Traditional worm tubs

Matured in American bourbon and European sherry casks.

Benrinnes Scotch Whisky

Distillery Style Tasting Notes


Nose: Sherry, spice, hint of peat smoke.


Palate: Full bodied, big sherry influence and a smoky edge, dried fruit, nutty toffee and vanilla fudge.


Finish:Sweet smoky finish.