Benriach releases two 40YO malts to celebrate distilling heritage

By Kristiane Sherry |

Benriach The Forty Octave Cask Matured is an ‘indulgent’ travel retail exclusive from Brown-Forman.

Brown-Forman-owned single malt Scotch whisky distillery Benriach has added a pair of 40-year-old expressions to its range, with The Forty Octave Cask Matured a travel retail exclusive.

Released alongside The Forty, the octave cask-matured bottling is one of just 134 bottles available globally, due to the maturation vessel’s tiny size – just one eighth of a regular cask.

Both expressions were distilled in the 1970s, when Speyside was known for its unpeated whisky style. Benriach however produced peated spirit, a tradition that continues to this day.

Master Blender Rachel Barrie used these peated casks to create the 40-year-old bottlings.

‘Indulgent’ whisky

BenRiach The Forty Octaves Cask Matured is deep red mahogany in colour, with a nose described as “rich with indulgent orchard and dark fruits” as well as =sweet plum, cherry, honey-glazed red apple and aromatic sandalwood notes.

The palate offers a “decadent” interplay of plum, pear, dark berries, cedarwood and silken oak, with cocoa and blackberry on the finish. 

Benriach The Forty Octaves Cask is bottled at 51.5% ABV and is released with an RRP of £3,800, although global markets may vary.

Both releases were previously available as part of a bespoke NFT (non-fungible token) twinset from Blockbar.com, the first direct-to-consumer NFT marketplace for wines and spirits.

June 2023 marks the first time the 40-year-old whiskies are available as physical bottles. 

A close-up of the 40-year-old bottling.

“Fine bourbon casks have gradually developed exquisite notes of honeyed pomelo and lush orchard fruits to create Benriach The Forty,” said Barrie. 

“Over the decades of maturation, the smoky character of peated Benriach spirit refines and mellows, transforming into ripe fruit sweetness. 

“This intricate character is interwoven with dark notes of chocolate, rich plum and smooth walnut from port casks sourced from the Douro Valley. 

“Crafted from the staves of refill and first fill American oak bourbon casks, the octaves casks used for Benriach The Forty Octave Cask Matured create a sublime interplay of indulgent orchard and dark fruits, with a flawless silken oak finish.”

Brown-Forman’s 2022 full-year financial results showed its performance in the global travel retail channel soared by 43%, while total company sales climbed 10% to hit US$4,228 billion.

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