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.
Age: 12 years old
Cask: American oak then Jamaican dark rum barrels
One for those who like: Bowmore, Springbank Calvados, Balvenie Rum cask