Explore the full flavour possibilities of a complex single malt with this inaugural bottling of Benriach Malting Season. This expression is a celebration of the time-honoured tradition of malting the barley by hand on Benriach's iconic Speyside malting floors. After being steeped in water and spread across the malting room, the barley is turned by hand over several days to help the barley germinate. This is a highly skilled process that harkens back to the 19th century, when the Benriach Distillery was founded in 1898.
The first edition of the ‘Malting Season’ small batch release is comprised of 23 barrels, with spirit distilled on 2nd November 2012 from concerto barley, yielding 6672 bottles in total at a strength of 48.7% abv. With a cask-imparted barley gold colour, it is double matured in ex-bourbon and American virgin oak casks. For each annual release in this series Master Blender Rachel Barrie will select the variety of barley and appropriate bottling strength meaning each edition will be completely unique.
On the palate there are notes of vanilla barley sugars, warm poached apples, almond fudge and honeyed pear. The finish is long and luxurious with a lasting nuttiness from the slowly kilned malt. This is the first bottling of an expression made in this hands-on process by Benriach for over one hundred years. And in cases like this it is sometimes appropriate to say - 'out with the new, and in with the old’.