A very interesting wood and peat experiment from a company that are doing lots of things right.

The BenRiach Arumaticus Fumosus caught my eye for several reasons when I first saw it. The first thing you notice is the colouring of the labelling, purple being a colour that is rarely used when it comes to whisky bottles but it strangely compliments the light golden colouring of the whisky.

Next, you notice the use of Latin terminology, which is not common in an industry that favours the Gaelic language.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly you realise this is a peated Speyside that has been matured in dark rum barrels which is a cask type that is not overly common.

This kind of experimentation with woods and peat is what helps BenRiach really stand out for me and if you haven’t tried any of their whiskies I highly recommend them, especially now they’ve released their range of woods without the peat.

First impressions on the nose are of smoked bananas and molasses. It’s a sweet smoke aroma that really opens up when left in the glass to air, revealing more of that banana as well as adding other sugary tones like boiled sweets and dried fruit.

The first taste is fiery, the spice and smoke mingling on the tongue before settling to allow the vanilla ice cream and banana flavours to come through. Well balanced between wood and smoke, the finish is long and savoury with hints of spiced pineapple.

Verdict: I’d rate it higher than 79% but I fear my personal preferences would be clouding my judgement. A great whisky for those who are looking to try something new and very different.

Abv: 46%

Age: 12 years old

Cask: American oak then Jamaican dark rum barrels

Region: Speyside

One for those who like: Bowmore, Springbank Calvados, Balvenie Rum cask

Whisky review: BenRiach Arumaticus Fumosus aged 12
Sweetness70%
Smokeyness70%
Richness50%
79%Overall Score

About The Author

Sean Murphy

Driven by a passion for all things whisky-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over six years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink.

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