Ben Nevis 1996/2013 Alambic Classique
Ben Nevis is not my favorite distillery so far, but this bottling by Alambic Classique is supposedly very good. I won’t get my hopes up too high, but will this be the first Ben Nevis that I actually like?
Ben Nevis 1996/2013 (57,1%, Alambic Classique, C#13304)
Nose: Dark sherry notes, think leather, tobacco, grinded coffee beans, cacao and varnish. Also some slightly lighter notes such as licorice, cherries, raisins and caramel. There is some wood, but not too much. Nicely balanced nose.
Taste: A wonderfully sweet, candy-like palate. Cherries, brambles and raspberry. Some light spices, a bit of wood and a slight bitterness. Literally mouth-watering.
Finish: Sweet, spicy and peppery. Medium in length.
Very good, but maybe a bit too sweet, both literally and figuratively. The palate made me salivate, but was also a bit boring. Maybe I’m nitpicking a bit here, because there simply isn’t much wrong with this whisky. I just don’t find it very adventurous.
What I can say is, that this is the first Ben Nevis that I liked. I think that is because this one has matured in a very active (probably first-fill) sherry cask, which means there isn’t much left of the distillery character. But whatever the reason, this is still a victory for Ben Nevis though 😉
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.