Benriach Smoke Season joins the Speyside distillery's portfolio

The new single malt whisky is characterized by intense smoky notes


The Benriach Distillery recently launched its new range of single malts, now it adds another edition to its portfolio: The Benriach Smoke Season is the smokiest whisky the distillery has ever released. Matured in American Virgin Oak and Bourbon casks, the single malt was bottled at 52.8% ABV.

The “smoke season” is the time of year when the distillery focuses on the production of the peated whisky. In the 19th century, heavily peated malts were also popular here in Speyside, reports the current press release, and Benriach revived this tradition with the use of peated malt. When malting the barley, there’s no peat from the islands used, which forms the character of the peated whiskies there, but peat from the Highlands. Shaped by a large proportion of heather and trees, it differs in its composition from the island peat and provides the aromatic, slightly sweet highland smoke.

Dr. Rachel Barrie, Master Blender at Benriach Distillery said: “At Benriach we’re always looking to push the boundaries of what is possible in Speyside single malt. With intensely peated spirit batch distilled every year, we never stop exploring how the fruit and smoke aromatics intertwine and mature in a range of eclectic oak casks, either amplifying or transforming the perception of peat. Smoke Season is the result of exploring 100% intensely peated malt, batch distilled and matured in 1st fill bourbon barrels combined with a high proportion of charred and toasted American Virgin oak casks.
Crafted exclusively from intensely peated malt distilled in Smoke Season, the spirit is reminiscent of barbecue smoked fruit in a pine forest. American virgin oak and bourbon barrel maturation develop sweet caramel smoke and cinnamon spiced roasted apple, with hints of charred orange peel and hickory, concentrated at the bottling strength of 52.8% ABV. Smoke Season is a special time of year in the distillery calendar, and this new addition gives both the whisky novice and connoisseur the opportunity to discover the uniquely rich, sweet and smoky character of Benriach single malt, crafted in Speyside, a whisky-making region rarely associated with peated malt.”

Image: Benriach Distillery