BenRiach Authenticus 21 year old, 46%

Price: $170 Issue: Spring 2006 Reviewer: John Hansell

The follow-up and older sibling to "Curiositas." I've been pushing for Speyside distilleries to bump up the peating levels of their malt they use for a long time because a majority of the spirits are big enough to handle the peat smoke, and this whisky proves my point. The tarry, peat smoke and bacon-like notes are a delight, and they are balanced nicely by a honey and apple pie sweetness. Spanish olives in brine, dark chocolate, golden raisin, and subtle spice round out the palate nicely. Not a heavy whisky, but pretty powerful stuff for BenRiach. So nice of the previous owners of this distillery to experiment with higher peating levels decades ago.