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Benriach 21 Year Old Authenticus Peated Malt

Average score from 4 reviews and 4 ratings 88

Benriach 21 Year Old Authenticus Peated Malt

Product details

  • Brand: BenRiach
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 21 year old

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Benriach 21 Year Old Authenticus Peated Malt

BenRiach Authenticus 21 yo is a peated and non-chill-filtered malt. My thanks to @Nock for the reviewed sample

Nose: elegant mostly sweet peat greets the nose first, then integrates very nicely with a lovely barley which shows the refinement of advanced aging. Is there wine cask influence here? Could well be some, but if so it is light and supportive. Noticeable vanilla. This is a very pleasant, mellow, and elegant experience. Water added sweetens the experience, lessens the peat, and brings out vanilla. Score 22.5/25 points

Taste: quite a nice very vivid translation of the nose flavours to the palate, with the addition of strong citrus in the mouth. Water added homogenises and sweetens the flavours, and lessens the peat influence. Score: 22/25

Finish: with or without water, goes straight down the road without a lot of change from the palate through to the finish. Neat without water the finish is long, with the peat, especially, keeping the attention until the death. Score: 21.5/25

Balance: excellent in the nose, very good on the palate, good on the finish. Score: 22/25

Total Sequential Score: 88 points

Strength: strong flavours thoughout. Score: 22/25 points

Quality: good to excellent flavours of each of the components. Score: 22/25

Variety: good to very good variety of flavours available. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: very good harmony of the parts. Score: 22.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 88 points

Comment: BenRiach Authenticus 21 yo is an elegant older malt. I like it a lot. I read that it is not common to find anymore, but if you can find it, the price is likely to be reasonable, compared to other 21 yo malt whiskies

@Robert99, I have had both the Septendecim, the Curiositas, and the Authenticus. And let me tell you to try before you buy. I adore the Curiositas and I really enjoy the Septendecim. I tasted the Authenticus side by side with the Septendecim, the Curiositas, and the 17yo Solstice (2nd Edition). I found the Septendecim to be exactly as you said (woody peat, barley, delicate smoke - very clean and balanced).

However, the Authenticus might be my lowest scoring whisky ever at 67. I thought it was so bad that I took some to @Victor to help confirm if he thought it was a tainted bottle. Apparently, what I find off and offensive doesn't seem to bother him at all!

To me the nose is all rotten tropical fruits (mango, papaya, guava and pineapple) mixed with peat. All I could get was burnt fruit and rotting vegetation in wave after wave of pungent sour sweet malt. The peat in this 21yo is actually stronger than in the 17yo Septendecim to my nose. Further, the Authenticus is much "thicker" with fruit, malt, peat, and wood, were as the Septendecim was far more clean, simple, and light.

I am grateful to @Victor's nose. I realize that things I cannot stand can quite possibly be enjoyed by others. Further, some offensive notes that put off @Victor I actually enjoy.

While I do share a great deal of commonality with @Victor's taste preferences, there are a few examples of outliers. The Authenticus is one clear example. I am not sure if I should put up my notes on the Authenticus or not. My experience from the exact same bottle that @Victor tasted is so extremely different. I could very well be in a very small minority who has “tropical fruit issues.” I my last trip up to visit we did find out that I am “sulfur blind.” Thankfully, sulfur will never bother me in a whisky! Maybe my sulfur blindness has heightened my other senses? Ha!

@Nock, your comments make me want to try some more Authenticus 21 yo, and then to sample it side by side with Curiositas and Septendecim.

So far, in Connosr reviews, no one other than you seems to find that whisky objectionable.

You gave me a 50 ml Authenticus sample bottle, with 45 ml remaining. Was your objectionable sample the first 5 ml from that mini bottle, a mini bottle from the same batch, or a full 700-750 ml bottle? Did you refill that mini you gave me from a full bottle from which you were drinking?

You never can be completely sure that you are drinking the same whisky if it is from two separate bottles. (e.g. Aberlour A'bunadh Batch # 45)


I bought a bottle of this recently. Partly because I’d tried it before and liked it, and partly because it’s been discontinued. The Benriach website says that “the Authenticus 21yo has been discontinued and has been replaced by the Authenticus 25yo.” I haven’t tried the 25 year old replacement, but I figured I grab a bottle of this wonderful stuff while I still could. It may eventually garner value as a collector’s item, and I considered saving it. But nah. It’s too good to sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Nose: Peat. Wet, mossy, earthy peat. What I first notice here is that there aren’t any strong briny or maritime notes that would be present in an Islay offering. While that may disappoint some, I love it. Instead this demonstrates a wonderful Speyside character. Lovely honey notes. Rich apples. Gentle caramel and cinnamon. Also, some wonderful malt/cereal notes.

Palate: Certainly peat in the foreground, but there’s also light honey, sour raisins, charcoal, nuts, figs, dried fruit, oak, and apples. A very gentle spice carries us into the finish.

Finish: The lovely earthy peat notes continue. Oak is here, as is the gentle honey and some malt. More nuts. Wait… there’s something oddly sour here. Like sour raisins, or sour apples. Still smooth, but there’s a mildly acidic bite to this. Like a very young granny smith apple. Not unpleasant in the least. Truly unique and delicious. Medium length finish.

Like other older releases from Benriach, this dram is surprisingly fresh and vibrant, with a strong nutty presence. I wouldn’t guess that this is any older than 15 years old. What’s great about this dram is the peat. Very wet, fresh, and earthy. It’s gentle. The peat is the star, but it doesn’t overwhelm the other lighter notes. It’s not trying to copy Islay. It’s not salty or intense. For those of you who see ‘peated’ on the label and think you’re getting an Islay whisky here, you’re wrong. And you shouldn’t approach it as such. It’s a softer and calmer kind of peat. This is smooth, rich, and decidedly Speyside. The finish is of particular note, as the gentle sourness is truly unexpected and pleasant.

BUT, the finish could be longer and the palate doesn’t deliver everything that the nose promises. Also, peat is typically a somewhat bracing and in-your-face ingredient. Of course, I mean that in a good way. However I was a bit disappointed at first with how gentle this stuff is. But this is a wonderful and interesting whisky that I’m sad to say won’t be available for much longer. Grab it while you can, folks.


This one is the older brother of the 10 year old Curiositas I’ve reviewed in the past. Every year only 4800 bottles of this fine nectar are released.at 46% ABV, it’s non chill filtered, and natural colour, as we whisky geeks like!

BenRiach Authenticus 21 , 46% ABV , £60 Nose: A rather peaty nose, with quite a lot of smoke, and an underlying sweeter honeyed juice, with hints of apples, Sherry sweetness, the odd dried fruit, and spices.

Palate: Oodles of peat, on layers of sweet, spicy, honey juice. some leather, then off to more sultanas,dark chocolate and nuts. a lovely melange of peat and chocolate covered nuts. Finish :Long, the peat dies slowly leaving the sweeter spices and honey juice around , with some oaky / woody feel to it. Lovely stuff!

Bottom line:

This is maybe my favourite Benriach in the series. It offers the maturity of spirit, with some wood and that lovely peat, and sherry influences are just right! Spot on.


Authenticus represented Scotland in our Whisky World Cup and did them proud by winning, although it was close. Tasting was blind, our combined notes are below.

Nose: Over-ripe grape, tropical fruit, iodine, slight sweaty.

Taste: Smoky bacon, fabulously integrated peat and fruit, raw peppermint leaves.

Finish: Blackcurrant, constant but faint peat, dry and extraordinarily long

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