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BenRiach 13 year old Maderensis Fumosus, Madeira Finish review

This BenRiach, the 13 year old Madeira Finish, also known as “Maderensis Fumosus” (smoky Madeira in Latin), was my favorite in Speyside blind tasting within our local whisky community here in Finland. In overall scoring it came second just behind GlenDronach 21YO Parliament. I did manage to guess the distillery and age, but then again, distillery guessing isn’t hard when the region is Speyside and there’s smoke involved.

BenRiach 13 year old Maderensis Fumosus, the Madeira Finish

Photo by BenRiach

Matured in American oak for 12 years, then finished for a year in Madeira wine barrels (used in the making of Henriques and Henriques wine). This is the 4th expression by BenRiach of this kind where they’ve used peated ex-bourbon matured base whisky and finished it, previously in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks, aged Tawny Port casks or Jamaican Dark Rum casks. The first batch of Maderensis Fumosus was limited to 2400 bottles.

This must be a DARK ANGEL

I’ve really started to love BenRiach distillery – the chameleon of whisky producing. I haven’t stepped into any mediocre or even okay drams by them. Everything has been good or great. They surely know how to make peated whisky, that is versatile, yet without losing its smokiness. And they seem to have their own signature way in making smoky whisky, which is a refreshing addition to the stuff from Islay. BenRiach 13YO Maderensis Fumosus is pretty steady with smoke – the smoke doesn’t run out but it gives room for other scents and flavors as well. Dark, yet sweet, with nice steady smoky aromas. Another characteristic whisky by the versatile distillery in Speyside. I’m gonna call this one the Dark Angel.

Matured in:
American oak, finished in Madeira casks
Colour: Sunlight
Nose: Steady smoke starts the show strongly and stays with you all the way, remains sophisticated in the back. Slightly peaty and tropically fruity with vanilla. Addition of water makes it more zesty.
Taste: Peat and clearing smoke in the start. Sweet wine and dark fruits. Water makes it more soft and dry with notes of dark chocolate. Toffee is present as well, and it’s dark.
Finish: Dark and fruity with bitter-sweet peat.
Balance: Not complex but offers rich smoke – darkness dominates the palate, offering color as well.


Distillery: BenRiach Region: Speyside ABV: 46% Non chill-filtered, no added colouring
Johannes Lindblom
Johannes Lindblom
Finnish whisky enthusiast and the author of WhiskyRant! A digital marketing professional by day – a whisky reviewer and informer by night.


  1. PT says:

    April 27, 2016
    I recently purchased a bottle of the BenRiach Maderensis Fumosus and am trying to get info on the number of bottlings there were and how many bottles produced. I know it was first released in July 2008 with around 2400 bottles. The bottle I have however, is dated November 2012. I really like the BenRiach whiskys I have tried. I think they have exceptional peated whiskys coming from Speyside. Have tried contacting the distillery but, no response so far. Any suggestions or information you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, PT

    • Johannes Lindblom says:

      BenRiach is definitely one of my favorite distilleries. I tried search for answers regarding your question but couldn’t get any. I even tried to look from Whisky Connosr but couldn’t find anything. Have you tried contacting the distillery via social media? It might do the trick, they might be swamped with email and Facebook/Twitter is usually the easiest way getting answers fast.

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