My journey with Ben Nevis has been difficult. At first, I had an issue with its, admittedly singular, yet somewhat funky and dirty distillery character. But I’ve come to appreciate it over the years. Like, a lot. I now always have stock of the Ben Nevis 10 Years at home.
My personal stock of Ben Nevis 10 Years is all from 2017 – a great batch. In absolute terms, that’s not very long ago. In whisky terms, we might as well be talking about a different universe. So much has changed since. Even at Ben Nevis, a distillery that at times seemed to be frozen in time.
Ben Nevis relaunched their 10-year-old in 2021, featuring a snazzy new label and a higher price point. My review is of one of the latest batches. The bottle code indicates it was bottled in 2022, but it just recently hit Dutch stores.
Ben Nevis 10 Years (46%, OB, 2022)
Nose: Certainly recognizable Ben Nevis, but maybe a little less funky/dirty. Sour hints of copper coins, touches of minerals, as well as a flinty, almost chalky side. Some whiffs of stewed apples and oranges too, but also a porridge-y side. Barley husks, candied lemon and shoe polish too. Taste: Medium oily, waxy mouthfeel. Most importantly, there’s this tropical fruitiness that brings back memories of the 1996 vintages. That’s about all one can ask for. Also a hint of pepper, green olives and sweet breakfast cereals. Finish: Nice length. Fatty, waxy and lemon-y. Somewhat malty too.
Wasn't sure quite what to expect, but the Ben Nevis 10 Years remains an excellent, singular malt whisky. Even at its inflated price this offers value for money.