Floor malting, used to Benriach Malting Season, is a highly skilled process that takes place over several days, requiring a keen eye for when it is ready.
Benriach Distillery brings the traditional into the modern era with their latest expression,
Benriach Malting Season: the first in a century to be produced entirely using barley malted from the distillery's historic floor maltings.
A highly skilled process, the floor malting method requires equal amounts of skill and dedication. 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 then decides when the barley is ready to move to the kiln and the iconic pagoda-shaped chimney comes alive.
Benriach Malting Season’s first edition is a two-cask matured in bourbon and virgin oak barrels, which brings out the creamy flavours from the floor malted spirit. The expression boasts a rich aroma of barley sugar, almond fudge and poached orchard apple with smooth, rounded flavours of vanilla and honeyed pear, with a lasting nuttiness of slowly kilned malt.
For each new edition of Malting Season, Master Blender Rachel Barrie, will carefully select the type of barley and bottling strength, making each new release stand out from the last. The 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, 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.”
The first edition of the small batch release is comprised of 23 barrels, all distilled on the 2nd of November 2012, yielding 6672 bottles in total.