Benromach Peat Smoke 2010 (59.9%, OB, 2018)

A wild Benromach Peat Smoke spotted last summer while strolling down the Petite Ceinture in Paris.

This one is a big fat bog monster, coming directly from… the Speyside? Yeah, the Speyside, and precisely from Benromach! The distillery is one of my favourites and… wait, OK lately I do feel like I’m typing this sentence for every distillery! But well, back to the Ben and the Romach. Oh yes, I wrote this horrible joke all by myself. Deal with it.

Moving on, even though I did like the Peat Smoke editions, they have not been my favourite Benry so far (check out this review here), but this one here under my nose today has some peculiarities. Besides being bottled at a whopping 59.9% ABV, it was aged in first filled sherry hogsheads! So, mesmerized by this peat-and-sherry combo at a whisky festival, I decided to purchase a whole bottle of this aggressively and filthily drinkable malt.

Nose: A fat and humid (wait, humid?) smoke, sweet and meaty. It does remind me of the other Peat Smokes, I think, but on the other hand the smoke is deeper, richer, more syrupy. The alcohol is definitely present, and so are the cherries. A jubilation of cherries. And sherry, that dry oloroso that screams attention like Joe Exotic’s mullet. And that smoke, oh, that smoke! With water, some exciting lemon and some ripe quince are showing up. It’s maybe not the most complex nose, but it’s surely gloriously enjoyable. A bit acidic, maybe, and vaguely vanilla-charged. There is also somehow some new wood, I think.

Taste: Immediately the almost 60% ABV are hitting my palate like a charge of the Wild Bunch in the Oklahoma Territories during the 1890s. Some burned rubber. Maybe too much burned rubber… But who cares, I like it! Ginger, white pepper, a huge and aggressive sherry, all enveloped in that deep, dark, and juicy smoke. With water I get something along the lines of mint, leather, and even blueberries. Or maybe it’s just the Wild Bunch that destroyed my palate. It’s quite punchy, I think. I get also again mint, along with some hint of peppery apples. No, I have absolutely not idea what I am talking about.

Finish: Long, very good, a smoke from a smoldering fire. A bit too much oak, and a bit too bitter perhaps, and that one right there is maybe a small issue that I have with this Benry. Chocolate and coffe-like notes make up for it, though.

Overall: I enjoyed the bottle, definitely, so I’ll give it a Luke. It’s 87/100 for this special Peat Smoke Benromach. As an everyday whisky I keep preferring the classic Benromach 10, but I don’t drink whisky every day, so… If you fancy a big fat peaty slap in the face and a sherried and fruity roundhouse kick to the nose, well, this Benromach Peat Smoke is definitely the one for you!

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