The BenRiach 15 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Cask
December 2014

The BenRiach 15 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Cask

The BenRiach 15 Year Old Pedro Ximenez Sherry Wood Finish made its Australian debut exclusively with the Club in time for Christmas 2014.

United Kingdom

Colour Gold

Nose Honey, sultanas, dark chocolate with a flood of Pedro Ximenez Sherry accompanied by candied orange, marmalade and chocolate bourbon notes

Palate Cream and honey, infused with papaya, rosehips, eucalyptus and dark chocolate, all interwoven with rich Pedro Ximenez Sherry and oak wood

Finish Finishes long and thick with butterscotch barley accompanied by spicy, sugary grape

Food Match BBQ steak, grilled lamb chops, Brie

Overview

BenRiach has become famous for it’s incredibly wide range of whiskies and is one of the only distilleries in Scotland to still do it’s own floor maltings, giving it the ability to produce both peated and unpeated malts. A production capacity of 2,800,000 litres means that we all have a hell of a lot of whisky to drink before the lads at BenRiach have to worry about production issues. The new management didn’t waste any time in getting things cranking again, and upon purchasing the distillery Billy Walker got the stills working within the year, redesigned the labels and launched their flagship range of 12, 16 and 20 year old single malts.

This range best captures the smooth, complex, full flavoured character traditionally associated with the Speyside region. All have elegant full taste and aroma that captures fruity floral notes, with overtones of honey, vanilla, spices, toffee and apples.

The core range has been augmented over the years to include an ever-increasing number of special and curious releases that has earned Benriach its cult status among serious malt enthusiasts. Your whisky today comes from the highly acclaimed Wood Finish range. These whiskies are unpeated and are originally matured in American oak casks before being finished in a wide range of casks including Pedro Ximenez, Madiera, Dark Rum, Tawny Port, Claret, Burgundy, Rioja and Sherry Matured. Jim Murray rated the Pedro Ximenez Finish 94.5/100 in his 2013 Whisky Bible, awarding it the coveted Liquid Gold status.

WHISKY SPECS

Price: $115.00

Age: 15 Years Old

ABV: 46%

Maturation: The BenRiach 15 Year Old Pedro Ximenez is matured in the traditional style in American oak bourbon casks and is then ‘finished’ in Pedro Ximenez Sherry butts, sourced from the bodegas of Jerez de la Frontera in Andalucia, Southern Spain. Finishing means

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Benriach's History

The BenRiach (meaning ‘speckled mountain‘) Distillery has had an interesting start to say the least. It was established in 1898 by John Duff, who had set up the famous Longmorn Distillery five years prior.

Located in north Speyside on the site of the old Riach farm, the he made the most of the mineral-rich waters of the Burnside Springs, deep underground below the distillery.

BenRiach and Longmorn were joined by a private railroad on which ‘The Puggy’, a steam locomotive, used to transport coal, barley, peat and barrels. A fantastic set up by all accounts in the golden years of whisky making, but sadly the BenRiach’s fortunes were very short lived. You see BenRiach was just one of at least 33 Scottish distilleries established in the industry boom of the late 1890s to cater for consumers’ ever-growing thirst for the golden nectar, 21 of which were also in Speyside… 100 points if you can guess what happened next… Yes, it all comes crashing down in 1899 when Pattison’s, one of the major buyers at the time, went into liquidation in what is now known as ‘The Pattinson Whisky Crisis’. An all-too-familiar tale of boom and bust.

Thus John Duff was forced to sell his distilleries in the first of a long chain of successive BenRiach acquisitions through it’s aptly speckled history, and the Longmorn Distillery Co Ltd bought BenRiach in 1900. Longmorn shut the stills but continued to use Benriach’s maltings. Glenlivet Distillers Ltd then bought BenRiach in 1965 and started producing spirit again, only to sell to Seagrams in 1977. And so it continued as a second set of stills was added in 1985 and growth ensued up to the point Seagrams was acquired by Pernod Ricard in 2001 and the distillery incredibly wound back operations to just three months of the year.

However, come 2004 the tables finally turned to the delight of many, making whisky history, as the distillery was acquired by an independent consortium led by industry legend Billy Walker and backed by whisky mad South Africans Wayne Kieswetter and Geoff Bell. The BenRiach Distillery Company Limited was formed and at long last BenRiach won it’s independence! Not keen to sit around, the guys have turned BenRiach into a bit of cult distillery and expanded their portfolio in 2008 with the acquisition of the GlenDdronach distillery followed by the Glenglassaugh distillery in March 2013.

Under Walker's watch, BenRiach continued their long-standing tradition of producing three styles - both peated and unpeated whisky (one of just a handful of Speyside distilleries to do so), as well as triple distilled whisky. We soon saw a wide range from BenRiach including a number of peated releases with names like Curiositas, Importanticus Fumosus, Septendecim and Authenticus.

In 2015, The BenRiach Distillery Company won the Global Whisky Distiller of the Year at the Icons of Whisky Awards, a win that no doubt caught the attention of American giants Brown-Forman, who scooped the company up the following year. This ushered in a new era as these revered distilleries came under the care of another whisky legend, Dr Rachel Barrie.

The distillery showed off a new look in late 2020, with a complete rebrand taking place including a new logo, dropping the capital R from "BenRiach", new bottle and label designs, and a few tweaks to the lineup. In keeping with the modern new look, the naming convention has been simplified, with the unsusual Latinate names gone. BenRiach Curiositas is now Benriach The Smoky Ten, for example.  The 12 Year Old has a new flavour profile and is now called Benriach The Original Twelve, and has been joined by a new expression in the range, Benriach The Smoky Twelve.

Putting their eclectic collection of casks from around the world to good use, Dr Rachel Barrie and the team continue to produce some of the richest, most multi-layered whiskies in Speyside.

Distillery Facts

Region: Speyside

Origin: By Elgin, Morayshire, IV30 8SJ, Scotland, United Kingdom

Founded: 1898

Water Source: Burnside Springs

Washbacks: 8, Stainless Steel

Stills: 2 wash and 2 spirit

Capacity: 2,800,000 litres of alcohol per annum

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