Magnus Fagerström
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21 single casks BenRiach

During 2008 I was only missing 4 bottles in my BenRiach collection. I couldn't fnd them in any shop online, so the onkly chance to get them was hoping to find them on an auction or find a person who had them and that were willing to sell them to me. I did knew a guy who had them and that's my belgian friend Bert Bruyneel. They were a part of his BenRiach collection, so to be able to buy his bottle seemed hopeless.
In June 2008 I recieved an email from Bert: "if you want the 4 bottles you're missing you can buy them from me, but I have one condition. You ahve to buy my whole collection of 80 bottles of BenRiach."
He gave me a price and it  was more than reasonable, or actually  it was a very good price, friend to friend. I didn't have the money so I phoned my friend at the bank and said I needed a loan. For what, he asked. To buy whisky, I answered. How much do you need?
Said and done, the loan was fixed and I bought Bert's entire collection of 80 bottles. I went to Belgium in November to pick up the bottles and of course the most of them I alreday had. The best way to get rid of the doubles was of course to arrange a big BenRiach tasting. The date was set for 18 April 2009 and I quickly organized the tasting.

3 flights with 7 whiskies in each flight. One with 70's whiskies, one with 80's and one with 90's. There were also some 60's whiskies in the collection so I decided to include the oldest one, 1966, in the 70's flight. I sent an invitation to BenRiach and to my delight Alan MacConnochie, Distillery Manager at BenRiach said yes.

I wanted to make a statement at the tasting as it was an important day for me in my collecting of BenRiach bottles, so I decided to put my collection on display at the tasting venue. My friend Hasse Peters helped me getting shelves and then we took my entire collection to the venue, 181 different bottles. The bottles filled the shelves and it was truly a wonderul sight to see my whole collection at once. Even Alan were impressed! He said he didn't knew they had made som many bottlings and he enjoyed seeing them on display like that. He had mostly just seen the casks go away for bottling and never got to see the finished product. He thought it was especially fun to see the different wine cask finishes as he remembered the cask coming to distillery and choosing the casks that were going to get a wine finish.

After the first break Alan was going to tell us a little about BenRiach and he was a little nervous, especially as he wasn't used to do the presentation after drinking 7 cask strength whiskies!

We tasted these bottles:

Flight 1:
BenRiach 1972, 33 yo, Cask 4043, hogshead, 261 btls, 49%
BenRiach 1970, 34 yo, Cask 4005, hogshead, 254 btls, 51,2%
BenRiach 1966, 38 yo, Cask 2382, hogshead, 158 btls, 50%
BenRiach 1978, 26 yo, Cask 1589, hogshead, 209 btls, 54,3%
BenRiach 1975, 30 yo, Cask 7007, Gomez sherry butt, 542 btls, 55%
BenRiach 1979, 25 yo, Cask 10985, peated, hogshead, 228 btls, 57,5%
BenRiach 1976, 30 yo, Cask 4469, richly peated, port pipe, 649 btls, 55,5%


Flight 2:
BenRiach 1986, 18 yo, Cask 316, barrel, 240 btls, 46%
BenRiach 1984, 20 yo, Cask 627, hogshead, 253 btls, 55%
BenRiach 1980, 26 yo, Cask 2535, New oak wood barrel, 238 btls, 55%
BenRiach 1984, 20 yo, Cask 594, hogshead, 240 btls, 60%
BenRiach 1986, 19 yo, Cask 9632, peated, butt, 663 btls, 55%
BenRiach 1986, 19 yo, Cask 285, peated, barrel, 201 btls, 58,6%
BenRiach 1984, 22 yo, Cask 4049, richly peated, port hoghead, 294 btls, 54,2%


Flight 3:
BenRiach 1993, 15 yo, Cask 76257, bourbon barrel, 251 btls, 53,0%
BenRiach 1991, 15 yo, Cask 6888, dark rum barrel, 268 btls, 54,5%
BenRiach 1994, 14 yo, Cask 4023, Virgin american oak, 311 btls, 53,5%
BenRiach 1994, 11 yo, Cask 828, peated, hogshead, 357 btls, 46%
BenRiach 1994, 13 yo, Cask 303, heavily peated, 58,3%
BenRiach 1994, 12 yo, Cask 807, Oloroso sherry butt, 700 btls, 56,0%
BenRiach 1994, 13 yo, Cask 4017, richly peated, port hogshead, 240 btls, 56,1%


Magnus Fagerström, July 2012