Whiskybase
Overall rating
86.10/100
votes
123
Whiskybase ID
WB104497
Category
Single Malt
Bottler
Wallace & Young Distillers Co. (W&Y)
Bottling serie
Speyside Single Malt
Vintage
1989
Bottled
2017
Stated Age
28 years old
Casktype
Oak Casks
Strength
46.0 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Barcode
20975067
Bottled for
LIDL
Market
de Germany
Added on
03 Dec 2017 7:39 pm by whisky313
ColoredChillfiltered

Average value

€ 114.95

12 × in wishlist

123 × member ratings

284 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ben Bracken 1989 W&Y

28 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 86.10 points

  1. hs305 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    [November, 2019] I am not sure if my observation is statistically right but it seems as if no-name and cheap bottles got much weaker rates here at WB than bottles from well-known distilleries that are sold at high prices. But the times when the price of a bottle reflected its inherit (drinking) quality are long gone and there are a lot of questionable (from a drinker's perspective) highly-priced drams released these days. On the other side you can find reasonable priced bottlings of great quality and quaffability too, with a little luck. Will this Lidl-release be one of them...

    ...and it is, without any doubt. If you like fruity-honeyed Speyside drams with a good balance (not too woody) and a high Q-factor (quaffability) this one is for you. I am pretty sure this one is from the Tomintoul distillery, not just because of the flavours profile (and rather low price) but the Tomintoul owners (Angus Dundee) are the main whisky suppliers for all the big discount store chains worldwide. They own huge warehouses with casks from almost all distilleries (via swaps with Tomintoul) and the facilities to do very large batches of blends, vatted malts or (even) single malts if requested. A nice market niche, and they can select the rather below-average casks for the cheap blends and use the better casks for (no-name) single malt bottlings like this one.

    To be honest, I like this 28-years old Tomintoul very much. This is a real bargain these days (for drinkers, I guess collectors and investors are not interested in no-name Lidl releases) so go for it if you do not own the deep pockets for 25+years old original distillery releases and you like fruity Speyside drams with a balanced (not wood-driven) profile.

    [December, 2019] I just noticed that Lidl now sells a different batch L 44 7 7 instead of L 44 7 1 which shows a slightly darker colour and owns more wooden notes than the batch I reviewed. I score the new batch two points lower at 87 points (88-87-86) but still it is a good deal for your bucks.
    • Nose
      89 89
      The colour is amber and the nose offers an impressive old Speyside profile with tons of ripe fruits of all different kinds, honeys, spices, nuts and fine oils. All in good balance and without any off-note. After some breathing this nose turns more old-stylish with beeswax, fruits and floral impressions. The woods are perfect to me (by the way: I use a big spheric blender's glass to nose this dram).
    • Taste
      89 89
      The taste is very sweet on fruits, honeys and sugars first before the spices and waxes balance this out. A tasty first layer that gets more harmonic the longer I chew the dram. There are earthy and bitter flavours (almonds, tea) which nicely counter the sweetness and all combine to a fine dark chocolatey note towards the finish. The woods are again perfect to provide structure without dominating. Ooh, this is dangerously quaffable (my taste buds cry for more).
    • Finish
      90 90
      The dram arrives very charming on my palate with a warming feeling and an instantly great coating effect. Actually, the texture is very creamy without any distracting moments - a truly great mouthfeel! The finish is long and sticks literally to my throat with chocolatey-nutty flavours and again no distracting moments at all. Water releases chalky-mineral notes in the nose and flattens both taste and finish, I like the neat dram best.

  2. ColorOutOfSpace scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    glenfarclas 25 has always been a price cracker with its 90-110€. but this has a even better price performance ratio altough its not as refined and the caskwork is rather restrained. it shows IB not OB style.

    however, blind you would get/guess something between a glenfarclas 25 and knockando 21+.
    its just good. I drank 3x2cl but my original plan was to drink 1x2cl. just couldn't stop.

    Lidl shows us, that good whisky doesnt have to be expensive and ultra rare rare special. its damn good whisky to drink and aint that the point?
    • Nose
      88 88
      wow, a blast of maturity. smells like the age printed on the label.
      classical mature speyside character:

      red and green apples above everything. vanilla, clear applejuice, barley, fruitbread, marmelade, orange zest, hazelnuts, nuts, walnut-oil, tropical fruit bowl, apple pie, wood.
      a little alcoholic note pops up but well integrated.

      I was impressed by the nose with my first sniff directly from the just opened bottle. I never expected this quality and maturity out of such a cheap discounter bottle.
    • Taste
      87 87
      slow arrival, initially it seems a bit weak but coating the mouth let it grow then like a wave. loads of oak move in. strong taste of honeyed apples with citrus and vanilla cake. oily and juicy mouthfeel. its rather spirit driven, caskwork (complexity from a cask that evolves the spirit about 3 decades)is not that prominent beside the woodnotes themself.
    • Finish
      86 86
      powerful and long. first sweet, then kind of peppery and spicy. the oak is still there after quarter of a minute. alcohol is pungent, not overly "heaty" but theres definitely a little alcoholic hit.

      damn what a nice whisky. the price is insane.
      I bet most of the people would sort this blind clearly above 100€, but its ridiciously only 60-70€. ordered another bottle straight away.

  3. Whiskonaut scored this whisky 91 points Member Junior

    Wonderful, complex Whisky - I just love the slightly citric aroma in the nose, and the taste reminds me of sandalwood oil, I can really taste the 28 years of wood. I think this is a 90, but I give an extra point for extraordinary value (paid only 50€).
    Wins in direct comparison with Glenfarclas 25 y.o.
    As hs305 mentioned, there are different batches. My first bottle (the one reviewed here) from April 2020 was batch L44-7-7, I ordered three more bottles in August 2020 and they were all batch L44-7-1 which seems to be the "old" one? - haven't tasted yet though!

  4. dominikbraun scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    A whisky for the drinker, not for the collector. This is possibly the best value for money whisky I've had to date.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Floral and voluminous. A basket of citrus fruits is combined with apple juice, fruit and spices. The oak stays in the background, instead more tropical fruits and candle wax gradually emerge. Actually a picture book Speysider, if you will. The nose is not overly complex for 28 years, but it is incredibly appetizing.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Spicy, creamy, waxy and fruity with intense citrus fruits, orange jam, herbs, spices, forest honey, tea.
    • Finish
      86 86
      The finish is not as spectacular as the palate, but it rounds off the taste with a slightly drying fruit sweetness. Here, too, the oak is very reluctant.

  5. LDB scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    Surprisingly good!
    • Nose
      87 87
      Quite shy, unobtrusive at first. Give it some time, then it opens up nicely with hints of ripe apricots, pickled ginger and tender wooden notes.
    • Taste
      88 88
      Astonishingly fruity yet elegant, a fine balance between sherry casks and distillate. Oily and orange-y, with a dash of honey and nectar
    • Finish
      87 87
      Cinnamon bun, a gingery note, sweet and sour grapes plus a marvellous elderberry sirup finish.

  6. DerDennis! scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  7. yggr scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  8. Ed Radour scored this whisky 87 points Specialist

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  9. Mannix65 scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  10. Simon Stood scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    Very good spaceide. Very similar to Benriach. 89 results
    • Nose
      88 88
      The aroma is quite delicate, perfumery. Caramelized berries, sinabones, green fruits (apricot, plum)
    • Taste
      90 90
      Berries - black currants, blackberries, gooseberries, baked goods, a little salt. Very good.
    • Finish
      89 89
      I wanted to finish a little longer. Sun-dried fruits, menthol, a little pepper

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