Wednesday, August 29, 2007
BenRiach 12yo 'Arumaticus Fumosus'
Dark Rum Finish
Speyside Single Malt Whisky
Yeah, these are peaty, smoky Speyside whiskies. Sound unusual? Well, it is, but far from unheard of, so don't feel stupid.
When William Teacher built Ardmore Distillery in Aberdeenshire in 1891, it was specifically intended to produce a heavily peated malt (and an unpeated one) to fill out the flavour profile of the still delicious Teacher's Highland Cream. Other blending houses made similar investments, and when Canadian company Seagram's bought Chivas Brothers, Longmorn and BenRiach were part of the deal. BenRiach's malting floors were then used to malt barley of varied peat levels for itself and for its neighbour (Longmorn) and they began laying down peated BenRiach for maturation and eventual use in various Seagram-owned blended whiskies.
Since BenRiach became an independently owned distillery in 2004 (more history tomorrow), they have continued to lay down peated whisky and have two standard peated expressions in their range: Curiositas(10yo) and Authenticus(21yo). They are both award-winning, critically acclaimed and enjoyed by yours truly (and his better half).
This particular expression is limited to 1740 bottles, the latin bit means 'smoky rum', and it is part of a 12yo peated wood finished series released June 28, 2007. All BenRiachs tasted on the mission can be found HERE.
Sweet and sour, savoury smokiness that comes with rum spice. Avocado, grass, smoked fish all wound up in red grapes and raisins and rum. Some oil paints, too.
Good body in the mouth. Wood, paper fire smoke, mackerel. Floral sweetness, coconut or papaya extract or vanilla or some kind of tropical sweetness that doesn't overplay its part. Long finish of apple skins, chevril, oak and peatsmoke.
Lightly coloured but heavily flavoured. Wonderfully well-integrated impressions on the nose spanning from phenolic to floral to feinty and ticking all the boxes for complexity. And a tight package on the palate, too. Very drinkable and would please any peat freak. All in all, a very satisfying smoky dram... from Speyside(!)
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