Benriach Smoky 12
Spirit: Speyside Single Malt Scotch Whiskey
Aged: 12 Years
Price: Around $64.99
About The Distillery
“A Speyside single malt Scotch whisky as intriguing and extraordinary as Benriach could not have come to be without a unique whisky making heritage, dating from 1898, when founder John Duff built his distillery.
Ruggedly beautiful, Benriach stands on the site of the old Riach farm in north Speyside, drawing water from a mineral-rich aquifer, deep beneath the distillery. Thanks to a long-standing tradition of distilling three styles of whisky; classic unpeated, Highland peated and triple distilled, together with an eclectic selection of casks from around the world, our whisky makers are able to explore the full flavour possibilities of single malt, creating some of the richest, most multi-layered whiskies in Speyside.
This tradition continues today, under the guidance of Master Blender, Dr Rachel Barrie. Benriach is the story of a hidden Speyside gem; quietly revealing its treasures to be discovered and savoured.”
About The Bottle
“The Smoky Twelve is the perfect marriage of fruit, malt, oak and rich layers of smoke. Crafted from a combination of unpeated and peated spirit and three cask matured for at least twelve years in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, and Marsala wine casks. The whisky from each cask is then expertly married together to create a smooth, creamy single malt, multilayered with flavours of ripened fruit, aromatic smoky sweetness and warming oak spice.”
Proof vs Heat
Notes & Review
Nose: A nice strong forward note of torched orange oil followed by notes of dark chocolate. Dried dates keep an earthy sweetness going that develops into a burnt vanilla.
Palate: Nice and sweet on the front with notes of vanilla, honey, and clove. These notes give way to more earthy flavors like smoky dark fruits, dried sweet red fruit, intense oak, and baking spices.
Finish: Smoked black currant, dried clove, roasted oak, cabernet, and a nice finishing touch of wildflower honey.
Review: Benriach The Smoky Twelve Speyside single malt scotch whiskey is a great bridge into the scotch world for bourbon drinkers!
The nose is nice and inviting without overpowering smoke diluting the softer and sweeter notes.
The palate has a lot of sweetness that balances out the earthy and smoky notes, and there isn’t a peated profile to deter new scotch drinkers who might be used to a bourbon profile.
There’s great balance here that I think comes from the triple casking of the scotch. You can definitely tell these additional agings allowed the scotch to pick up unique flavors and change the core profile towards something a little sweeter.
The price is pretty good, netting just over $5/year of age. But, it’s priceless when you serve it to someone who “doesn’t like scotch” and see them emotionally grapple with the fact that there might be one out there that agrees with their more sweet-forward palate.
Overall, I really liked Benriach The Smoky Twelve and would buy it again (actually, I’m on my second bottle)!
User Review( votes)
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.