James Eadie Benrinnes 13 year old Madeira Cask 56.1% ABV

james eadie benrinnes
  • Cask: #307046
  • Finish: 11 months in first fill European Oak Bual Madeira Hogshead
  • Distilled: 2005
  • Bottled: 2019
  • Cask Strength: 56.1% vol.
  • NCF/NC

Distilled in 2005 at Benrinnes, this 13-year-old single malt spent the last 11 months of maturation in a first fill European oak bual Madeira hogshead. Bottled by James Eadie in 2019, only 311 bottles were released.


Appearance: Nice and dark auburn, like an autumnal forest floor, full of fallen leaves. Very oozy and viscous. Plenty of thick legs clinging to the glass for an age.

Nose: Christmas spice and dried fruits forward, lovely and welcoming nose, full of rich aromas that invite you to keep nosing for ages, savouring and exploring.
Sweet BBQ honey glazed burnt ends, a slight smokiness and some sherbert double dip sweet.
As the glass matures a barley/ pear drop note presents itself, along with some real lemonade, maybe even that gloopy bit you get at the bottom of a lemonade ice lolly, the syrup I guess.
After a time there’s an ’empty glass funk’. Damp basement and maybe a little petrichor.
Right at the end of the dram, chocolate scents started to reveal themselves in spades.

Palate: Beautifully oily delivery, lovely mouthfeel. The Madeira influence is immediately obvious. Plenty of golden syrupy sweetness, vanilla, lemon, spice and red apple concentrate.
Each sip seems to build a chilli sauce heat and tingling, along with some drying of the throat too. Even though it’s 56.1% ABV, it drinks even higher.
Custard notes appear last, more mellow and balancing the spice and chilli flavours somewhat.

Finish: Medium to long. The golden syrup and some orange sweetness linger the most, along with some mild chilli and white pepper.

Overall: There’s a lot going on with this whisky and I feel a bottle would allow far more insight into what it has to offer.
Based on this sample alone it’s a proper spicy number, but with complexity and balance, thanks to the golden syrup and custard elements that show up.

A bit like a fruit and nut bar made with chilli chocolate and lightly dusted with white pepper.

I like it.

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