- DISTILLER: Benriach Distillery
- MASH BILL: 100% Malted Barley
- Cooperage: Three Cask Matured in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, and Marsala wine casks
- AGE: 12 years
- YEAR: 2020
- PROOF: 92 Proof (46% ABV)
- MSRP: $65
- BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
NOSE: Vanilla | Raspberry jam | Vanilla | Little-to-no smoke
TASTE: Black pepper | Honeycomb | Birch beer | Grapefruit
FINISH: Short-to-medium |Humidor wood and cigar shop | Cooked berries | Chocolate chips
SHARE WITH: Friends who will enjoy a simple and drinkable bourbon. A fine introduction to a high corn and rye mash bill.
WORTH THE PRICE: If you're used to spending $65 for a bottle of Scotch whisky, yes
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: In a vacuum, I would suggest trying this at a Bar. However, given the hype around this bottle right now, I'll round up and say Bottle.
OVERALL: If you're reading this, you've most likely seen this bottle in the #3 spot of the Whisky Advocate Top 20 Whiskies of 2020 list and have come to Bourbon & Banter as your one-stop-shop for some honest feedback.
Here's what I'll tell you: this whisky is like drinking a very good, mildly-sherried scotch while someone across the room from you is smoking a cigar that you think you'd like the smell of it were closer. I do not say that to imply that this is a bad whisky: it's not. While it's Nose is only solid, the Taste on this is really something special, and the Finish is really unique and enjoyable.
With all that said, if I were to have spent my own money on this looking for a smoky whisky, I'd be confused and maybe feel a bit cheated, as I find that particular element lacking. I think if you're a fan of smoky whiskies, I would try The Smoky Ten at a cheaper price point and thank me later. If, however, you also enjoy complex, well-rounded whiskies that just might be a bit mis-named, then I think this could keep your palate busy for a while as you try to suss out everything that's going on. I'm very interested to hear what you all think of this one so please drop me a line as you #drinkcurious!
Colour: Burnished gold
Nose: Smoked vanilla, charred orange and toasted almond
Palate: Dark chocolate, fruit peel, brown sugar and smoked oak, lingering into a cocoa and orange smoked finish.
The Smoky Twelve is the perfect marriage of fruit, malt, oak and rich layers of smoke. Crafted from a combination of unpeated and peated spirit and three cask matured for at least twelve years in bourbon barrels, sherry casks, and Marsala wine casks. The whisky from each cask is then expertly married together to create a smooth, creamy single malt, multilayered with flavours of ripened fruit, aromatic smoky sweetness and warming oak spice.
Disclaimer: Benriach provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.