BenRiach The Smoky Ten is Highland peat hitting the barley in summary. This ten-year-old whisky was aged in bourbon barrels, toasted virgin oak and Jamaican rum casks for at least 10 years, hence it is also called 'The Three Cask' matured like all other 10 and 12-year-old whiskies from the distillery in their restructured core range.
After the 70s started, BenRiach Distillery revived the production of peated whiskies in the region with Highland peat. This sweet and peated whisky is a perfect example of a boldly peated Speyside whisky using the peat from the Highlands.
How Does It Taste?
The nose shoots with vegetal peat smoke, menthol and a fresh welcome. Some floral qualities are followed by citrus, an ashy feeling, vanilla spice. The palate is thick and sweet. Malt sweetness is followed by orchard fruits, honey, barbecue smoke, apricots and nutmeg. The finish has salted butter, cinnamon, a touch of orange, black pepper and underlying vanilla.
BenRiach The Smoky Ten is a good example of how Highland peat can be used in Speyside whiskies. The peat is actually more punchy than I had in my mind but it carries the BenRiach sweetness I like with the spicy notes possibly coming from virgin oak.
I think that some of the vegetal funky notes I got on the notes are coming from the Jamaican rum casks, but those notes also disappeared pretty fast. I found myself wanting more of the rum casks with this whisky. The addition of the Smoky Ten to the core range is a nice showcase of the peated malt style at the distillery.
You can find my reviews for the other whiskies in the core range:
BenRiach The Smoky Twelve