Day 16 – Samaroli Benriach 1996 Single Malt | Blog #105

G’day everyone and welcome to day 16. Time seems to be flying by as we start to feel the excitement of the lead up to Christmas Day.

Today we have another Samaroli Single Malt that has been a big hit with those that came along to a few of the “sneak peek” events that I did in November at Zyn Bankers Hall and the Taste of the Season events at Wine and Beyond.

BenRiach Distillery BenRiach Distillery

Benriach was established in 1898 next to the Longmorn Distillery and the two distilleries were joined by a private railroad with a private steam driven locomotive called the Puggy which ran barrels and distilling supplies between the two. Closed in 1900 Benriach did not produce spirit again until 1965. In 1978 it was sold again to Seagrams but was only utilized for 3 months of each year for production. In 2004 Billy Walker along with South African partners purchased Benriach and has since added Glendronach and Glenglassaugh to their list of distilleries.

Samaroli Benriach 1996 – 19 Year Old, bottled at 43% ABV and aged in new American Oak cask # 45763. Speyside.

Colour:     Actually a lot darker than most Samaroli whiskies found in this years edition it is still light for 19 years, pale gold.

Nose:     Ripe Honeydew Melon and tangerine compote. This would be a fabulous nose for a Breakfast Whisky. Home made Apricot jam on sourdough toast.

Palate:     Dominating apricot still with tangerine a plenty here on the palate. Vibrant and bursting with flavor easily the most fruit forward Benriach I have ever had at 19 years. The toast comes through as well adding an underlining character to all the fruit.

Finish:     Lingering but softening, the apricot fades away leaving the citrus acidity to finish things off.

This is an exceptionally well balanced whisky that keeps the promise of the nose running right through to the very end. This is delightful whisky and another big tick in the usage of new oak to keep the fruits rolling along year after year as the barrel sits in the darkened warehouse awaiting the nod from our Italian friends.

Joshua Hatton the literary library of tastes and descriptive foods writes about the Samaroli Benriach HERE

Last year on this day we tasted the Wemyss Pastille Bouquet 1998 Mortlach 15 Year Old. Blog #48

If you liked this fruity Benriach number from Samaroli you can find one of the only 30 bottles available from these retailers:


Highlander Wines and Spirits

Zyn the Wine Market


Wine and Beyond

Tomorrow we have our last younger expression of Single Malt in this years edition this time by A.D. Rattray and an opportunity to compare a different age and cask from a distillery that we have already visited earlier.

See you tomorrow.



  1. obiscott says:

    Apple apples all the way home! But not just any apple and not the watered down type we get now, but rather the red apples that used to be sold in little cardboard crates with two layers and that were still seasonal. They came out in fall and through Christmas. Then if a whisky is allowed to have a wine bouquet this has a Chardonnay hint to it for me. As for the taste I think I was a Samaroli in a previous life – they just work for me! Love the fruit and I do taste apricot (always after some prompting) and a long gentle finish that allows me to savour this one for at least one full cycle of the Shaw Fireplace.

  2. obiscott says:

    A question sir, these bottling that appear to be from a single cask (not sure if I am reading correctly), are they the result of your work to build something special for the calendar? I assume with only 30 additional bottle that this is something you have worked to make happen. What would be a more mass produced brother/cousin to this one?

    • Jonathan Bray says:

      G’day you are correct I pick out these whiskies for the calendar and the bulk of them are single cask never to be repeated expressions. This single cask of Benriach is really unusual and very fruit forward. You could try some of their bourbon cask expressions.

      I know you suffer from the lack of originality in the LCBO purchasing. We may be able to help you 🙂


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