Whisky Review – Benriach Peated Cask Strength Batch 1. @TheBenriach

Benriach Peated Cask Strength Batch 1

56% ABV

Non chill filtered

No added colouring

£58.84 from Master of Malt

Nose. 

First sniff and we have light bonfire smoke, creamy barley, ground cumin and a touch of citrus in the background. Will let it sit for a bit… considering the high ABV you can get your nose in there, it’s not massively abrasive in the nasal capacity. Little time in the glass and we have meatier notes coming through now, some BBQ ribs, a little crusty steak, still nicely smoky, smelled blind you would never think Speyside. The creamy barley has changed to a richer, runny caramel, slightly salted, reminding me of Hotel Chocolat Salted Caramel chocs. Yummy. Touches of ginger and cinnamon in the far background. Lovely start. 

Palate. 

Arrival is dry and earthy, with a punchy pepper, borderline chilli spice. There’s a creamy vanilla ice bun topping amongst the punch of the ABV, which isn’t as hot as I expected. Mouthfeel is oily and fits very well. Very smoky throughout with small sips going a very long way, packed with intensity. Slightly astringency in the development, with a touch of sour lemon and bitter chocolate, then becoming creamy again, with rich and spicy vanilla.

Finish. 

Medium to long in length, spicy warmth, earthy, smouldering bonfire and slightly sweet, creamy custard. 

Adding water. 

A splash added. The nose has got sweeter, more caramel, some white chocolate, the smoke has become less intense, more mossy, a wet bonfire smoke. The palate is quieter on the spices now, still an intense smoke, lots of creamy vanilla, a touch of soft fruits (apricot, peach), lots more sweetness now, quite lip smacking, with lots of sugar rich sweeties. The finish has less Spice, more sweetness, still smoky and delicious. It’s a dram of two halves, I prefer with a splash of water, but it works very well (albeit more heat) neat as well. 

Conclusion. 

Much peatier than the quarter cask variant and really benefits from the extra ABV. This is, in my opinion, better than the quarter cask. It’s smoky, swims well, sips are compulsory and beautiful. 

Many thanks to Benriach for the review sample

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