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Benriach 10 Year Old

My Perfect Summer Dram

5 987

@RianCReview by @RianC

24th Jul 2018


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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As the title suggests, and I've mentioned more than once on here of late, I've been looking for a good whisk(e)y that really suits the warm weather. I opened a couple of bottles prior to this that have been OK but not quite hit the spot. This does. I'm pleasantly surprised by this little beauty.

Bottle has been open almost two weeks and, I'm a little embarrassed to say, is about three quarters full. Review is from a 30 ml pour in a Taylor D Milestone glass that's sat about ten minutes. Neat.

Nose: Boy has this opened up lovely in the short time it's been popped. Creamy, lemony sweet and pithy, toffee'd malt. There's berry sweetness, apples, something exotic- mild pineapple and papaya. Satsuma, yes, definitely. There's also a dunnage/damp earth funk note that really works here and some dried fruit - raisins. Quite spicy too with dried orange and a touch of cinnamon. A tad nippy but fine.

Taste: Even at 43% this is quite concentrated. Like a soft, fruity jam but with a little nip. I'm adding two drops of water. The water brings more oak on the nose but it also mellows it all out a bit and takes out the wee nip! There's a fruit salad burst but balanced nicely with the sour lemon pith and spices.

Finish: Short - Medium. The fruit salad clings on as does the spice but softly so. That slight 'funk' note also slowly comes out. Some gentle tannins. Very nice.

This bottle was distilled under Billy Walker's ownership and is a few years old now, but I imagine current bottles are still pretty similar. I also suspect there's some older whisky in here which would account for the more aged warehouse type notes. Who knows though? Either way, this is a great summer whisky (well anytime, really) as it has a soft, fruity style but is then backed up with some character and complexity - it is very, very drinkable but always rewarding! A very well put together malt and like Benromach 10 - does very well for its age.

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OdysseusUnbound commented

Just to be clear: this isn’t the Curiositas peated expression, right ?

10 months ago 0

RianC commented

@OdysseusUnbound - No. We get that at 40% here in the UK and it was OK but nothing special. This is a little gem though and it keeps getting better!

10 months ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

Got a bottle of this open at the moment. It's almost finished but have to say I'm not massively impressed. It had a really rough bitter note on the arrival at first. I had to put it through an oxidizer. Now it's not so rough but is just a bit meh! It's not bad whisky just don't think I'll get another bottle.

9 months ago 0

RianC commented

@Wierdo - That's a shame to hear! Is your bottle a new(ish) fill? I'd had this bottle a coupe of years before opening and at a guess I'd say it was bottled late 2016 at the earliest.

9 months ago 0

Wierdo commented

It was a birthday present last year, so November 2017. After I oxidized it to get rid of the off note on the arrival it's been a perfectly acceptable whisky. Just nothing special I thought. I have a couple of other 10 year olds open at the moment from a similar price point to the Ben Riach, a Hazelburn and the Ben Nevis and I think they are both better whiskies than the Ben Riach with a lot more going on. I'd say the Benromach 10 is better too.

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Wierdo - Oh I definitely enjoyed the Benromach 10 a lot more relaxed Good to hear about the Ben Nevis too - I'm thinking about opening my bottle soon. What's it like?

9 months ago 1Who liked this?

Hewie commented

@Wierdo hey what is this oxidizer or oxidising process you mention? It is a wine aerator (which attaches to a botles neck and aerates as you pour) or something different? When do you choose to use it and what sort of results have you had? Thanks

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

Wierdo commented

@RianC I only opened the Ben Nevis 10 last weekend and have only had a couple of drams. But I'm very impressed so far. I'll post a review when I get into it a bit more. It's just a real powerhouse of a Highland whisky.

@Hewie It's a wine oxidizer. This thing.


I brought it about a month ago. It wasn't very expensive. I've only used it on the Ben Riach so far. What I decided was of I have a whisky I'm not enjoying with an off note I'll try putting a glass through the oxidizer. If that improves it, I'll put the rest of the bottle through. Which is what I did when I was getting that bitter note on the arrival with the Ben Riach and it worked. I've not used it on anything else yet.

Ironically I'd never heard of aerator until I saw it in the ralfy review of Ben Nevis 10. But I've not used it on my bottle of that as I don't think it needs it.

9 months ago 3Who liked this?

RianC commented

@Wierdo - Thanks, I'll look forward to reading it! I bought it because reviews stated it was a bit of a meaty Highlander; which should be right up my alley, as it were. (and it was about £30 not long ago)

I've never used an oxidizer but I've had a few below par bottles this year that I've decanted. Getting some air in does seem to help. I opened an Evan Williams BiB bourbon recently and it was nothing like my last bottle - this being very woody, sappy and overly bitter. I've decanted about four times now and left the lid off overnight a couple of times and it's improved but only slightly. I wonder what difference an oxidizer might make?

9 months ago 2Who liked this?

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