Benriach Curiositas 10 Year old Peated

Big Peat BenRiach

Reviewed by
Connosr member:



31st Jul 2014

Reviewer rating:


About this score:

  • Nose: 23
  • Taste: 22
  • Finish: 22
  • Balance: 22

The average score for this whisky is 82.

Best price to buy online:

Tasting Notes by Victor

The reviewed sample is compliments of @Pudge72. Curiositas is 10 yo, and is in a peated style

Nose: pleasant mellow fragrant peat and smoke of moderate intensity, with a little sweet lemon in the background, and a little cereal flavour from barley. A first quality nose. Water homogenised and sweetened the nose

Taste: the peat expresses on the palate in a very earthy basso sort of way, with black licorice flavour prominent. Sweet, sour, and bitter are all prominent here. In addition to a milieu of amorphous peat provided, there are also some very sharp pointed flavours from peat included. Significant smoke expresses on the palate here as well. The lemon from the nose is tasted in the mouth as well. Water diluted the flavours and brought out black licorice, which persisted into the finish

Finish: long, strong, and consistent

Balance: if you are fully prepared for a strongly smokey-peaty whisky, then the balance achieved by BenRiach Curiositas 10 yo is very good indeed. You have to like these sorts of flavours, though, because they are quite strong in Curiositas. I enjoyed this whisky quite a lot


Whisky details











Nozinan wrote:

Have you tried the (older, I believe) version bottled at 40%? A friend was cleaning out his parents' house in anticipation of a sale, and he gave me such a bottle, which he says has been in his home for a LONG time.

31 July 2014 02:02

Victor wrote:

@Nozinan, I don't think that I have tasted the 40% version of Curiositas. I had some Curiositas with @Nock awhile ago, but it was also the 46% version. I liked the sample from @Pudge72 better than I did that sample from @Nock, as is reflected in the difference between his 84 review score of Curiositas 46% abv and mine. I probably would have scored @Nock's bottle of Curiositas about the same as he did.

31 July 2014 02:13

BlueNote wrote:

I love this stuff, and it's relatively bargain priced, as are most peated Speysiders, when compared to the big three Islays. Great review Victor, thanks.

31 July 2014 07:06

Nock wrote:

Excellent review @Victor. I am very glad you got to try a better batch than the one I let you try. I have had 3 or 4 bottles of the Curiositas since it came out and I am really a big fan. I have reviews for two different batches L040705 31048BB and L22 07 10 3 12:21 BB (the L22 was the not so great one you tried).

@Pudge72 do you still have the bottle that you might locate the secret code numbers for the obsessive among us (me)?

@Nozinan Benriach was bought by the current owners in 2004. Curiositas was one of their first releases and the ABV was 46%. In Murray’s 2005 Whisky Bible he gives a 94 to the Curiositas 46% (L4231BB; bottled August 18th 2004 – look the great master gives us both the secret code and the decoding! All praise his work.) Obviously the bottle coding has gone through some changes.

In the 2009 WB Murray re-tastes the Curiositas (no code this time – curse the man) and scores it 95.5

In the 2011 WB he notes that the ABV has dropped to 40% and scores it a 90.

In the 2013 Malt Maniac Awards the Curiositas won the “Best Peated Malt Award” and the “Thumbs Up Award.” This is the first time the MM’s have given two awards to a single bottle. My guess . . . it was a good batch (if only we could know the bottle codes!) and the ABV is at 46% ???

Currently it looks like the US is still getting 46% versions in 750mL bottles while countries with their 700mL bottles are getting the 40% version.

SO @Nozinan my guess is that your bottle is really from 2011 or 2010 at the earliest. Just a guess. Can you find an L code of numbers anywhere on the bottle? That might helps us figure it out.

31 July 2014 14:29

Victor wrote:

@Nock, this reviewed batch of Curiositas has that 'knife-edge' or 'razor blade' smoke and peat that tastes almost as though it is cutting your tongue right in half. That lovely Kilchoman Cask # 293 also has that quality. I think that that style is one of enormous appeal to you,...and to me, when I am in the proper frame of mind to experience it.

31 July 2014 15:20

FormerlyRigmorole wrote:

In my town, I could buy Dark Rum Cask 15, Authenticus 21, and some other less interesting ones.

I could order (via mail) the Solstice 2nd Edtion 17, 1994 Peated 19 PX Sherry Puncheon #7179, Septendecim 17 (Ralfy loved that one),or the 2000 12 Year Oloroso Sherry Cask #3105.

Have you tried any of those, Victor?

I'm very curious about the 19 PX but it's $150 which is a little steep, plus shipping. The Septendecim is only $80 plus shipping and the Authenticus 21 is $128 and available locally near where I live.

31 July 2014 20:58

FormerlyRigmorole wrote:

I could also buy the Benriach 16 or 20 locally.

31 July 2014 21:00

Victor wrote:

@rigmorole, I don't think I've tasted the BenRiachs you listed. I have tasted, I believe, Aromaticus Fumosus and maybe 3 or 4 single cask bottlings, 2 or 3 from the SMWS and 1 bottled for Kensington Wine Market in Calgary, Alberta. Some BenRiachs I would call great, like the one from Calgary, others just ok. Personally, I would taste them before buying a bottle. So far, the Calgary procured bottle is the only bottle of BenRiach which I have bought for myself.

31 July 2014 21:25

Nozinan wrote:


My friend assures me this bottle has been in the house for many years. His father died a few years ago and had dementia for quite a time before that.

That said the code is L31 07 07 3 09:19 BB

31 July 2014 22:52

Nock wrote:


I honestly am not sure how to read the codes. My guess has been day, month, year. If that theory holds your bottle is from July 31st of 2007. But I am really not sure. The fact that L31 doesn't indicate a year or month seems to leave 2007 as the only possible option left for your bottle (as you have the 07 07 there)

The only things I can say with confidence is that the oldest Curiositas possible is from 2004 (it simply didn't exist with the previous owners). And I know that those original bottles were all at 46%. I could see your bottle being from 2007. Seven years could be "many years."

That seems to make the most sense to me. That would put my bottle L040705 being from the 4th of July 2005 and L22 07 10 being from July 22nd of 2010. And that would make sense based on when I bought those bottles. But still just a guesses.

Hope that helps

01 August 2014 03:50

Nozinan wrote:


I'm not arguing with you, but the current stock for sale is at 46% at the LCBO. It suggests the expression started at 40% and was ramped up with the shify toward more craft presentation.

Anyway, I may never know. The proof as they say, is in the bottle...

01 August 2014 13:46

OlJas wrote:

I recently bought a bottle at 46% (in Madison, WI). And that was new stock, I suppose: The shelf slot at that store had sat empty for a while before they got more in.

01 August 2014 19:33

Victor wrote:

@Nock, relayed from @Pudge72, the bottling information for the reviewed sample is that it was bottled Nov 22 2012 12:38pm.

05 August 2014 01:44

vrudy6 wrote:

How do you compare this to Ardbeg 10? A year ago for the first and only time tried Ardbeg 10 and Laph 10. Didn't care for the full-frontal peat and smoke that they offer. However, a year has gone by, I've had many single malts and the mildly peated versions that I've had leave me wanting more. I think its time! Great review as always @victior.

01 April 2015 19:00

Victor wrote:

@vrudy6, that is an interesting question which you ask. Both Ardbeg 10 and Benriach Curiositas 10 can vary a lot from batch to batch. Two observations come to mind: 1) the Ardbegs have a briny/maritime component which I did not perceive in Curiositas, and 2) I notice the base malt cereal flavours more in the Benriach than in the Ardbegs.

01 April 2015 20:37

vrudy6 wrote:

Interesting. Thanks. I will make my move in the coming weeks.

01 April 2015 22:17

Nozinan wrote:

@nock, one thing I'm considering is that perhaps it may have been bottled at different strengths at the same time. I'm still curious about the bottle but not enough to open it. I think I would need to be with someone who really wants to try it.

01 April 2015 22:38

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