As you know, BenRiach is a Speyside distillery with a tradition of making peated batches as well. The Whisky Exchange bottled quite a few BenRiach from the 1980’s in their Single Malts of Scotland range, and most of them were really worthwhile.
This BenRiach 1984 won a silver award at the 2008 Malt Maniacs Awards.
BenRiach 23 yo 1984 (54,2%, SMoS 2008, cask #194, 214 btl.)
Nose: clearly a peated version, even though it’s not at all monstrous. Nice dark ashes. Smoked ham. Surprisingly coastal for a BenRiach, with tarry ropes and whiffs of sea air. Nonetheless it’s beautifully balanced with marmalade and honey which makes this one very attractive. Hints of diesel oil. Waves of citrus. Very entertaining.
Mouth: very thick and powerful. Much more peated. Really dark, almost like burnt whisky. Lots of pepper (red chilli even) but again there’s a sweet coating.
Finish: a bit drier, with coal and diesel oil. Hints of liquorice.
A high quality peated Speysider, very muscular. I really loved the nose, too bad I find the peat a tad overpowering on the palate. Sold out (around € 75 at the time so great value for money).