United Distillers started the F&F series in 1992 consisting of 26 different single malts. Originally the range did not have a name. However the late whisky writer Michael Jackson nicknamed it the “Flora and Fauna” because of the various depictions on the labels. The name has stuck, and is known worldwide as Flora and Fauna. Founded in 1826 and completely rebuilt in 1956, Benrinnes saw further work in 2012 and the entire process is now controlled by just one person. With a wide cut, 73-58%, and wormtubs used in production, Benrinnes’ meaty style is at the heart of many of Diageo’s blended whiskies; none more so than Crawford’s Three Star.
On the nose: you’ll be welcomed by notes rich notes of currants and dried fruit, followed by aniseed, salty caramel and vanilla. These initial notes are closely followed by brown sugar, creme brûlée, orange peel and a hint of smoke. Spicy notes of star anise and cinnamon start to appear, alongside green herbaceous notes. Completing the nose are notes of lemon zest, bramble apples, toasted barley and caramelised walnuts. On the palate: those rich currants and dried fruit notes are ever-present, alongside smoke, brown sugar and orange peel. Notes of ground coffee beans start to emerge, followed by oatmeal, cracked black pepper, cinnamon and fennel seed. Rounding-off the notes are cardamon and a earthy/grassy-like note. The finish: is long, spicy and bittersweet, with lingering smoke.
The verdict: This isn’t the first time we’ve tried drops of liquid gold from the Flora & Fauna range, last month we posted tasting notes on the 16yo Dailuaine expression. This 15yo Benrinnes is a delicious from nose to palate, with some unexpected notes of smoke. It packs a powerful punch of dark fruity notes, which is rather nicely balanced. With an ABV of 43%, it doesn’t require any water in my opinion. Though if you feel the need to, then do so until it’s just right for you.
Benrinnes 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch Whisky from the Flora & Fauna range can be found for approximately £60 online or in some specialist whisky shops.
For more information on This Flora & Fauna Benrinnes 15-year-old expression, visit the official Malts website.