To create the BenRiach The Smoky Ten, they didn’t just peat some barley and follow the same process they did for The Original Ten. Nope, they changed things up a bit and cut the sherry barrels out of the recipe. Though this time they didn’t sub in ex-Port barrels like with The Twelve. This time they brought in a player from yet another part of the world: Jamaica.
Created from a blend of unpeated malt and peated malt, using highland peat, the whiskey was aged in a combination of ex-Bourbon, Virgin Oak and ex-Jamaican Rum Casks. I love what sherry and peat can achieve together, so a part of me is a bit disappointed it’s not here, but that same part of me is equally excited for the peated rum casks. Because when a rum finish is done right it can be incredible.
BenRiach The Smoky Ten – Details and Tasting Notes
Mash Bill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: ex-Bourbon, Virgin Oak and ex-Jamaican Rum Casks.
Age: 10 years
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Honey, grilled fruit, graham, wax, smoke (BBQ), buttered biscuits, herbal, vanilla taffy and light roasted grain.
Candy sweet, peat, fruit, malt, spice and a touch waxy and herbal.
Long -> Peat, malt and fruit.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Decent balance, medium body and a waxy feel.
BenRiach The Smoky Ten – Overall
Aroma is rich and alluring with a mix of earthy-malty-peaty notes and fruity-dessert-sweet notes combining and blending nicely; Palate carries an added herbal undertone, but on the whole, comes through a bit muted compared to the palate; Finish picks up the most peat but stays rather fruity.
The peat is on the lighter side and doesn’t really charge through, at times it almost disappears only to kick back up when hitting the finish. It’s alright.
BenRiach The Smoky Ten – Final Thoughts and Score
Good. Not my favorite of their updated core, but good. It’s pleasant and warm with a touch of peat riding alongside the overall malty fruity herbal profile that emerges as it opens. If you’re just dipping your toes into the world of peated whisky this would be a great start as the peat is present but far from overpowering or dominating.
While it’s not the one I’d keep stocked, right now I’m all about The Twelve, but like the Original 10, this BenRiach The Smoky Ten is a solid, basic, whisky that can easily pull double duty in a glass neat or in a cocktail. It makes one heck of a Blood and Sand.
*Disclosure: The sample for this single malt Scotch review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
BenRiach The Smoky Ten Review
Like the Original 10, this is a great intro to Scotch, but on the peated side of things as it’s less powerful than something like and Ardbeg or Laphroaig and keeps a strong sense of its fruity malty core.