Along with the Ledaig 10yo the BenRiach 10yo was also a new friend of mine. This was a chance meeting, in a backdoors alley where all the streetlights had gone black. Stumbling there, I got this onto my hand and moved on. When I got the chance to taste this later, it was a big surprise.
Benriach is a difficult dram for me. I’ve tasted it a few times in bars, but so far I didn’t got the thing in it. Ok, but .. Of course it can be the peat and the smoke which were lacking for one reason. This got my attention with the word “Peated” , with a story that they enhance the peat drying to the malts Islay style: peat infused kilns , the fact that it had a age statement (10yo) and the price (low).
So what did I got?
The nose is sweet, oaken and also somewhat peaty. There is not much in the nose, but it smells pleasant.
The palate strikes with the peat and some smoke. I like this one! The waves of peat strike the shore again and again. It is a nice attack of peatwarriors who aim to breach the wall. Later some fruits, sweets and oak emerge with some spices. During the following sips the oak gets more wood and the peat waves lower a bit.
The finish mixes oak, peat and some smoke.
For this one’s price, it is a great dram. Peaty, yet tasty. It lacks the power and complexity/width of those Islay peatsmoke kings, but it makes a great warrior who can take the charge while the kings are gone. And it is really about the day, do you wish to listen to the kings or does the lighter peat cheer your day for better.