Benrinnes 11yo MoM Xmas 46.3% ABV


Bottled by Master of Malt for Christmas 2023, this is a single malt from Benrinnes, initially matured in a refill PX cask, before finishing in an oloroso octave.

Appearance: Vimto dark Rosé, with an almost purple hue. A tad cloudy in appearance too. An immediate viscous film that quickly concertinas into a corrugated layer of medium to thick trails. After the film seeps to the surface, there are many teardrops left clinging to the glass.

Nose: Very light on the ethanol. Chocolate, caramel, honey, red berries, dark fruits and confectionary sugar first. Some prominent cake sponge and strawberry jam, like Victoria Sponge. Very Christmas-forward! Some faint cherry and sulphur linger in the background. There’s a pleasing rich quality to the nose.

Palate: A fairly thin mouthfeel. Cherry Soothers, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and black pepper. Again, quite Christmas-like after the spice subsides the sweeter notes appear, quite jammy and fruity. After a few sips the spice all but disappears completely. The cake element is consistent with the nose, along with honey, light caramel and expressed orange peel. A Fruit Salad chew flavour appears towards the finish, which I like. All of the above flavours taste quite watered down and diluted however, a little too suppressed.

Finish: Short in length. The cake sponge and Christmas spices last a while, there’s a subtle black pepper tingle too.

Overall: It’s an incredibly friendly and easy-drinking dram, but nothing special. It would make a great introduction to whisky as nothing is challenging at all as it drinks like 40%, a little diluted. I’ll happily finish the bottle but would like a bit more complexity and bite.

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