A couple of winter’s ago in Victoria, I was at a friend’s going away/Birthday party. There were about a dozen of us, one keg of Driftwood’s Fat Tug IPA, one keg of Hoyne’s Dark Matter, and nine Led Zeppelin albums to listen to in a row. We all had a good time.
Later in the evening talk turned to Scotch. Our host then pulled out a bottle of BenRiach 10 year old that he had recently purchased and offered me a dram; he said that he found it too peaty. Whilst I was enjoying my glass, people all over the house began to notice a peculiar smell. As the smokey nose of the Scotch emanated forth from my glass, nostrils began to tingle, and people began to wonder if someone had lit a cigar inside the house.
Of course it was only the Scotch, but it was rather remarkable how strong the nose was. Our host then decided to do one better than providing me with a dram; he offered to sell me the entire bottle for twenty dollars. Now this was madness, since the bottle was nearly full, and he had paid about sixty for it, so I accepted on the condition that I haggle him up to something more acceptable, perhaps twenty-five!
Later, sometime after 2 AM, I headed home on foot in a snowstorm, with poor visibility, chilling winds, and a drunken gait. It was undoubtedly an unwise journey to undertake, but I had my bottle of BenRiach with me, and the sacred task of getting it home unharmed and mostly full drove me onwards. Just before 3 AM I stopped in at the 24/hour Thrifty Foods and purchased a few slices of bacon (on sale of course) for the morning’s hangover. Life was good that day.
I have since spent many an evening savouring the wonderfully smokey taste of the BenRiach. Here are some tasting notes.
BenRiach 10 year old Curiositas Peated Malt 46%
Appearance: light yellow.
Nose: quite smoky, burning charcoal, black permanent marker, sage, and perhaps a hint of gamy meats?
Palate: sweet corn followed by spiced apple cider and burning salt.
Finish: roasted chestnuts, alcohol burn, spices, and lingering smoke.
Overall: it’s like smoking a nice cigar. Adding a drop of water made the nose less singeing, the palate less burning, but the finish tasted more burnt! Curious.
Rating: single malt rating 86/100. The price in BC ($67) is Excellent.