Thanks to /u/Devoz for helping me slowly build up my individual cred on the BenRiach distillery.
Bias time! I know, everyone loves a good bias, whether it’s politics or sexual preferences or just good old religion, we all have some great biases.
Mine, when we’re talking about whisky, go like this: I like peat. A lot. More than I really should. I’m a total peat head.
I also tend to like Speysides. So keep that in mind while reading my review, because I break some of my own rules with this one.
BenRiach Heredotus Fumosus is a part of a 3 whisky series from those crazy Scots at BenRiach. It even has a silly Latin name (bias: That’s the kinda crazy I’d do). The silly latin means “Smoke Sherry” in normal people speak.
They start with the 10 year Curiositas (bias: I love it), which is their young, nicely peated entry Scotch. Then they add a 2 year finish to it (bias: Holy damn I love finished whiskies). In this case, this whisky is finished with Pedro Ximénez sherry barrels.
What? Were you expecting a bias there? I like finishes and all, however I’m not 100% biased towards PX sherry finishes.
So it’s a limited peated sherry finished, no colour added and non chill filtered whisky? Well, I’m going to be more biased than a racist at the Ms. Universe contest.
Price: $77.60 (CAD) at the LCBO
Colour: Dark Chocolate
Nose: Peat, milk chocolate, grapefruit, red licorice, orange zest, nutmeg, whipped cream, woody
Not ‘in your face’ peat, more like a soft, sweet, Speyside peat. Like the peat your grandmother used to dig up, you know the one.
Big flavours here. Quite sweet. The sherry isn’t as evident as others, and for awhile I thought I may have been trying the port finished one.
Taste: Peat, cranberry, dark chocolate, anise, brown sugar, raisin, lemon tart
Yeah, this is sherry. Big, dark flavours that wrap you up in Mandingo 2-esque heaven.
Wait, was that racist? I don’t know. Let’s just move along.
It’s a deep, deep flavoured dram. No light flavours at all.
Finish: Pepper, cinnamon, raspberry, molasses, coffee, currant, vanilla, coconut, anise
Okay, so the finish reminded me of a rum. A lot like a rum, actually. I was very confused. And happy. So it’s a good thing.
Conclusion: The nose smells like a port finished whisky, the taste is a deep sherry flavour, and the finish tastes like a smoked rum, if that’s even possible. The complexity is off the charts, it’s balanced, and it has some nice strong flavours. Nothing setting off memories, however I have to say this is a good upgrade to the 10 Curiositas, so it’s going over the 85 mark.
Scotch review #236, Speyside review #72, Whisky Network review #361