The use of the floor malting method requires specific skills at the hand of the Benriach team. After being steeped in water, the barley is spread across the malting room floor and turned by hand over several days to allow for optimum germination of the barley. The malting team decides when the barley is ready to move to the kiln and the iconic pagoda shaped chimney comes alive.
The first edition of Benriach Malting Season is two-cask matured in Bourbon and virgin oak barrels respectively. For each new edition of Malting Season, master blender Rachel Barrie, will select the type of barley and bottling strength, making each annual edition a truly unique expression in its own right. This inaugural release is made from concerto barley and has a bottling strength of 48.7% ABV.
Stewart Buchanan, global brand ambassador at Benriach, commented: “Passed from distiller to distiller throughout the generations, the floor malting process keeps a traditional part of the whisky making process alive with Benriach being one of only seven distilleries in Scotland to continue the practice of floor malting. Distilling spirit from barley malted here on site is a true labour of love and something we are passionate about keeping alive here at Benriach as an ode to our creative whisky making heritage.”
Rachel Barrie 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.”
The first edition of the small batch release is comprised of 23 barrels, all distilled on 2nd November 2012, yielding 6,672 bottles in total. Timing of product availability will vary by country.