Benriach Smoke Season 52.8% ABV

Benriach smoke season

Smoke Season is the distillery’s smokiest whisky to date. Matured in a combination of bourbon barrels and virgin oak casks.


Appearance Yellow gold/white dessert wine. An oily film forms quickly which quickly becomes corrugated from the numerous thick trails. The viscous and thick swirl line beads after a time.

Nose: A heady wave from the higher ABV. Sweet smoke, caramelised BBQ meat and a little ashy. White grape, subtle blackberry, some pastry notes after a time and faint confectionary sugar. The blackberry and some red berry notes grow after a while, but remain masked by the smokey BBQ elements.

Palate: A nice semi-oily mouthfeel. Whoa!, that ABV packs a decent punch and emphasises the BBQ smoke and meat flavours. A real chest warmer of a dram from the first sip. The second sip reveals a sharper sweeter side. Fruit syrup, pineapple liqueur and some faint white pepper. There’s a pleasing balance between the smoke, sweet and spice, it’s very well put together.

Finish: Medium in length. Fruit syrup, white pepper and a slight drying away the back of the throat. A mild chilli heat build all the way through the finish, slowly fading after all other elements have subsided.

Overall: I like it, I’m not blown away by it but it’s a solid smokey sweet dram that will satisfy all. Plenty going on and loads to explore.

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