The Benriach distillery is located in the heart of Speyside, 3 miles from the city of Elgin. Founded in 1892 by the Grant family next to the Longmorn distillery. In 1900 it was mothballed with a lot of other distilleries and remained closed until the year of 1965 when it was re-opened by the Glenlivet distillers company. It changed a few hands until in 2001 it was bought by Pernod Richard and operated only a few months a year. The change came in 2004 when it was bought by and independent consortium called “the BenRiach distillery company” which was founded by two south African enthusiasts, and Billy Walker, a well know whisky figure and formerly director of Burn Stewart. The consortium bought also the entire maturing stock in the casks distilled in former years.
The Benriach is one of the few independent distilleries and as such thrives for the utmost quality with artisan whisky distillation. In 2008 the BenRiach company has acquired the Glendronach distillery.
The BenRiach offers a very interesting range of expression from the 12,16 and 20 year old aged Spyeside malts , continuing with the peated versions (10,21, and the ‘Birnie Moss’ intensely peated expression) , some wood finishes (PX,Sherry,Madeira,Tawny Port and Sauternes) and of course the very hard to pronounce Peated finished expressions :Heredotus Fumosus 12 (PX finish) ,Importanticus Fumosus 12 (Tawny Port) , Arumaticus Fumosus 12 (Rum finish)
though i like those fancy names, someone should tell those distilleries it’s hard enough pronouncing their names as it is, so no need to complicate things with long Latin names. oh well. let’s hope the dram is worth this trouble 😉
I really was intrigued by the peated versions of this Speysider as I’ve heard it’s really a very aromatic experience. and compared to other “peated” or “heavily peated” which means in Speyside – not very peated, this one has a nose i should sniff. 😉 peat head as i am, i could not miss this dram. For those who don’t speak Latin (most of us humans) Heredotus Fumosus in Latin stand for “Smoky Sherry”, logical ha?
BenRiach Heredotus Fumosus 12 yo , 46% ABV, £31 (buy here)
Color : Gold. (no color was added, no caramel)
Nose: Are we in Speyside or in Islay !? Had you given me the nose sans telling me it’s BenRiach, i would opt for the latter. What a nose! Loads of peat, sweet peat. Who said sherry and peat don’t mix well (hint : Jim Murray. – so what!). this is a wonderful nose my friends. I just love it. peat , smoke, sherry notes in the backdrop (without the Islay medicinal, Iodine seaweed et al) . one could sniff this dram all day long. It’s a thing of beauty. Some vanilla notes, and wee lemony note (citrus). the best peated Speyside I’ve sniffed to date. period. it’s not one dimensional, but not the most complex nose around. Yet, i love it!
palate: Peat , and then some more peat. sweet notes in addition. I’d say Smoked Bacon in Caramel-Teriyaki sauce. The PX finish gives a sherry mood and touch to the finish, but is not too imposing. balance. at 46% it’s nice but i would love to get to taste this sweetie at CS. A but more impact will do it well. There is also a certain spiciness to it.
Finish : smoke,peat, spice and sweet ending on behalf of the PX… great length.
Summing it up:
A good dram indeed. I love the nose, and the palate is nice enough. Very impressive in my opinion for a peated speyside. It’s peaty, it’s strong, and the sherry does complement this malt. I have not tasted the other 2 different finishes of this 12 year old (Rum,Port) , but i sure would love to try those out as well in the future. When i am in Peat mood, i can see how i can really connect with this one. It goes straight to my wish list (not top 5 but top 10 on the wish list) , that i can tell you (for now i have only a wee sample left). The price is also right, and for around £30,which is not bad at all.