New Benriach whisky is first of its kind in 100 years

Speyside producer Benriach has created a whisky made entirely from barley malted at its floor maltings – the first bottling of the sort from the distillery in a century.

The first edition of Benriach Malting Season is double-cask-matured in Bourbon and virgin oak barrels. Bottled at 48.7% ABV, tasting notes include vanilla, honeyed pear and nuttiness. Only 6,672 bottles of the first batch have been made from 23 barrels. The spirit was distilled on 2 November 2012. To create the whisky, barley was steeped in water before being spread across the malting floor room. It was then turned by hand over several days to help the barley germinate. The malting team then decides when the barley is ready to be transferred to the kiln to be dried. Rachel Barrie, master blender at Benriach Distillery, said: “At Benriach, we never stop exploring how fruit, oak and barley flavours intertwine and mature in our broad range of eclectic casks. “The unique process behind Malting Season allows the cereal flavour from the concerto barley to pull through and when married with the creamy, wholesome flavour from being two-cask-matured in Bourbon and virgin oak barrels, creates a truly unique expression.” Benriach Malting Season will be available in the US from October 2021, priced at RRP £99 (US$138). It will also be rolled out to other markets. Earlier this year, Benriach revealed its first visitor centre following a six-figure investment. The brand also unveiled its ‘most intensely smoked’ single malt to date. This followed a redesign of Benriach’s core range of whiskies in September 2020.