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Benriach 12 Year Old Heredotus Fumosus Pedro Ximinez Peated

Average score from 7 reviews and 11 ratings 85

Benriach 12 Year Old Heredotus Fumosus Pedro Ximinez Peated

Product details

  • Brand: BenRiach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 12 year old

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Benriach 12 Year Old Heredotus Fumosus Pedro Ximinez Peated

When it works, it works. I mean the combination of sherry and peat, of course. I enjoy this admixture, especially when both profiles compliment rather than combat or cancel one another.

Nose: sweet red fruit encasing rich fat peat. Wisps of sweet smoke, clove, and cinnamon.

Palate: rich, sweet, red fruit arrival with a spice and fat peat undercurrent. Faint smoke. The spices develop more forcefully at the end.

Finish: sweet fruit dominates the smoke as spices swim their way to the fore. Eventually drying and spicy with some residual sweetness. The finish lingers as the sweetness subsides leaving soft smoke and spice.

Great dram for a surprisingly decent price at our local population-fleecing state-run liquor control (LCBO).


Nose: medicinal peat strikes right away, but it is followed by intense sweetness from the sherry casks. Smoldering bonfires and sweet dark fruit syrup. Quite lovely.

Taste: those tingling peat notes dance around the palate, followed by an ashen smokiness. Could easily be mistaken for an Islay. But then there is the sweetness of black cherry intermingled with the peat. Very nicely balanced attack.

Finish: the smoke flavour lingers forever, of course, but the richness of the sherry casks is also present, without any undue sourness to spoil the party.

Balance: a very rich, intense malt which manages to balance heavy peat and heavy sherry. A little much when you are seeking a lighter dram, but should appease both peat-heads and lovers of sherried malts.


As you may know, I have a soft spot for BenRiach. They’re loud and proud, and they give just about any production method a go. Yes, the whisky’s hit-and-miss, but I love the eccentricity. And when they’re good; they’re good. And this is one of the good ones. It’s heavily peated and finished in the sweetest of PX casks. While you may not end up liking it as much as I do, I guarantee you won’t be bored with it.

Nose: This is an intensely smoky nose with some sweet, pungent sherry notes. Chocolate-coated maraschino cherries, pralines, marzipan, maple, burnt caramel, smoky bacon, red licorice, raspberry jam, and leather. There’s a saltiness here, but it comes without the coastal character that Islay whiskies boast. Unique, complex and intense.

Palate: A gradual arrival with a lovely mouthfeel. Hammy. Smoked, glazed ham. Crispy bacon. Sweet, candied fruits. Almond extract, chocolate-coated cherries, plums, and raspberry jam.

Finish: The sherry and peat integrate beautifully. Campfire smoke, caramelized apples, a bit of charcoal, almonds, cherries, cedar, and pine. Medium-long finish.

Well… this is special. Both the smoke and the sherry come out swinging with this one. Make no mistake; this IS a whisky for peat-heads. While this may not have the classic coastal peatiness that Islay lovers know and love, it’s nevertheless big and powerful. But be warned; the sherry here is quite sweet. I usually go for the darker, more brooding sherried drams, but this one works. I think it’s precisely because of those big, sweet, syrupy, fruity notes that the sherry manages to stand its ground. What it lacks in subtlety it makes up for with complexity and potency. This is one of those “drinks bigger than it scores” whiskies. If you don’t find it good, you’ll at least find it interesting. Very recommended.


Let's be honest, we judge Whisky on quality, flavour, nose, taste, finish....and price. Whilst price is not as important sometimes I find a bottle that belies its price. This one cost only £29 and punches well above its weight.

The colour gives away the fact that that is has been finished in Pedro Ximinez casks. The nose is sweet fruity, peat, and smoke. The palate is oily, peat, malt, sweet sherry, coffee and ripe dark fruits.

The finish is smokey, peat, sweet and medium long.

This is a lovely sherried malt from a great Speyside distillery. It isn't complex but what it does it does well.


Bought and opened 5/18/2013. I tasted this along side the old Benriach 10yo from the previous owners (late 90’s bottle) and the Curiositas. This came out as my least favorite of the night.

Nose: Strong wine notes on the front of the nose followed by some peat and smoke. The most smoky nose of the night by far with plenty of peat. Now the smoke really comes to the forefront with tons of sweet notes attached. Feel like smoked candies: smoked dark chocolate covered cherries. This is a dark fruit meets smoke in a dark alley . . . and they fumble around for a bit.

Taste: Sweetest on the mouth: very sugary. Now chocolate covered cherries . . . very silky in the mouth . . . but a hint of an edge of peat. Where the Curiositas was all sour lemons this is all sweet candies and coco.

Finish: Biggest blast of the night. Huge peat blast . . . leaves the mouth a bit decimated actually. It is candied peat and smoke and leaves mostly fire, wood, smoke, coco covered peat, candied cherries, and other candied fruits.

Complexity, Balance: Not overly complex on the nose and the balance of the peat, smoke, and sour seem a bit off. The Nose was the most congested bit of the night. = 3

Aesthetic experience: Not sure what to think about this bottle. I don’t like much: gray label lined with purple? I don’t think so. The Latin name? Seems mostly useless. But I like the 46% . . .

Conclusion: I like BenRiach a great deal. I don’t love this bottle. I picked it up on sale so I can’t complain too much. I won’t be replacing it when it is gone.

Don't get me wrong - I get that they use the Latin name for most of their peated expressions. My point is that I don't like it. I dislike the awkwardness of a using a dead language for the name of a bottle. But that is just my opinion. I much prefer the use of a different name (ex. Longrow, Port Charlotte, Ballechin). I wish BenRiach had gone this route instead.

All the peaty ones have latin names so that you know which expression to buy :) But considering history its quite odd indeed. I like the gaelic names best, they sound sort of mythical:)


BenRiach has classic Speyside style and Wood Finished whiskies, but the latter also come in peated versions. There is the Heredotus Fumosus (Sherry finish), the Importanticus Fumosus (Tawny Port finish) and the Arumaticus Fumosus (Dark Rum finish).

I tried the 12 Year Old Heredotus Fumosus, that matured on American ex-bourbon casks before getting ACE’d on Pedro Ximinez sherry butts. 530 cases (i.e. 3180 bottles) were released in 2007.

The nose is, to put it mildly, complex. Vanilla and young, sweet peat, dry wood, citrusy notes, but first and foremost crispy bacon. It lacks any typical Islay connotations such as iodine and seewead. It does have sultanas and cloves. Hmmm… this is a big, layered nose.

It took a while before I sipped my dram, because I couldn’t stop nosing it. It’s simply that good. But all good things, etc… so I allowed the golden liquid to enter the salivating cavity beneath the nose. The bacon came to me first, soon surpassed by licquorice and peat, caramel and something that reminds me of soja sauce. The PX does not put its foot down.

The finish last longer than a Florida afternoon shower and is again, just like the nose, dominated by the bacon and sweet peat.

The price tag is more than fair, too, at around £30. In 2008, this expression won a silver medal at the International Wine & Spirits Competition. A very nice specimen of a Sweety Peaty Speysider.

Great review. I agree with you, it is a good value. I would simply add that I was comparing a couple of sherry beast the other night among which was this Herodotus and the petroleum of the peat was really coming out. Both oily and smoky. Since that good be a game changer for some people, I thought it was important to say it. For myself, I would give it an 89, so that tells you were I am standing.

It was "that could be" and not "that good be".


Color : Gold. (no color was added, no caramel)

Nose: Are we in Speyside or in Islay !? Had you given me the nose sans telling me it’s BenRiach, i would opt for the latter. What a nose! Loads of peat, sweet peat. Who said sherry and peat don’t mix well (hint : Jim Murray. – so what!). this is a wonderful nose my friends. I just love it. peat , smoke, sherry notes in the backdrop (without the Islay medicinal, Iodine seaweed et al) . one could sniff this dram all day long. It’s a thing of beauty. Some vanilla notes, and wee lemony note (citrus). the best peated Speyside I've sniffed to date. period. it’s not one dimensional, but not the most complex nose around. Yet, i love it!

palate: Peat , and then some more peat. sweet notes in addition. I’d say Smoked Bacon in Caramel-Teriyaki sauce. The PX finish gives a sherry mood and touch to the finish, but is not too imposing. balance. at 46% it’s nice but i would love to get to taste this sweetie at CS. A but more impact will do it well. There is also a certain spiciness to it.

Finish : smoke,peat, spice and sweet ending on behalf of the PX… great length.

Summing it up:

A good dram indeed. I love the nose, and the palate is nice enough. Very impressive in my opinion for a peated speyside. It’s peaty, it’s strong, and the sherry does complement this malt. I have not tasted the other 2 different finishes of this 12 year old (Rum,Port) , but i sure would love to try those out as well in the future. When i am in Peat mood, i can see how i can really connect with this one. It goes straight to my wish list (not top 5 but top 10 on the wish list) , that i can tell you (for now i have only a wee sample left). The price is also right, and for around £30,which is not bad at all.

Sounds fascinating!

jd, get this one. i love it.

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