Ben Nevis 1995/2014 Whisky Import Nederland
I’ve found Ben Nevis (the ones from the 90’ies at least, I can’t speak for older vintages) to have a very recognizable style. A bit peculiar maybe, with a type of dirtiness that isn’t completely suited for my palate. So you probably won’t see me buying a Ben Nevis anytime soon. But… your palate can change, your taste evolves. So I will try a Ben Nevis every once in a while.
Whisky Import Nederland is an importer first (for The Netherlands), and an independent bottler second. When they do bottle something however, it often is of a pretty high standard. So maybe, just maybe, this bottling (from a sherry cask) will be the start of a new attitude towards Ben Nevis?
Ben Nevis 1995/2014 (49,9%, Whisky Import Nederland, C#965)
Nose: Immediately some obvious dirtiness, akin to Ben Nevis, but contrary to others I had, not at all a problem. The slight sourness actually blends pretty well with the sherry notes. Orange marmelade, raspberries, charred oak and copper coins. Not too shabby.
Taste: Plenty of oak, some tannins and oranges. A lovely combination in this case. Cloves and cinnamon. Tangerines and a hint of creme brulee also. A tad zesty.
Finish: Oak and oranges. Fairly long.
Given my personal attitude towards Ben Nevis, I find this surprisingly good. Sherried, but not too much to cover up the Ben Nevis spirit.
Thijs is a spirits writer and accredited liquorist from The Netherlands. He runs the blog Words of Whisky and contributes to a number of Dutch and international publications.