SMWS 36.82 “A grand Dame in a greenhouse” (Benrinnes 17) Review

This is an SMWS pick I picked up through K&L a year or so ago. It was the first Benrinnes I had (and the first SMWS bottle I purchased). It’s a 17 year bottled at 59.1% ABV.

Nose: Sweet berries with a bit of acetone. Damp new oak, grass clippings, fresh mushrooms, heavy earthy notes overall.

Palate: Heat is striking – tastes even hotter than 59.1% (which is pretty high for this old of a malt). Waxy pears, dry oak, coriander, black pepper sprinkled on peanuts.

Finish: Charred, astringent oak with strong malt notes and honey linger.

Rating: 82/100 – Comparing this to one of my favorite Benrinnes expressions (Benrinnes 23) it’s amazing the difference in profile when you take away that sherry cask maturation and replace it with an ex-bourbon cask.

Value for the money: These are no longer available, but they were priced at $150 on K&L when they were sold. I don’t see this one being worth more than $80 compared to what you can get at that price. A premium is typically paid for SMWS bottlings, but many times it’s justified as they have some great picks.

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