I’ve been wanting to try The Whisky Jury’s bottlings ever since their first whisky was launched some three years back. Which, now that I think of it, isn’t actually that long ago. But it seems like eons. Not just because the whisky industry has changed, but the world as a whole – 2019 just seems like a more innocent time.
That’s when this Ben Nevis 1995 23 Years hit the market, which was The Whisky Jury’s first-ever release. They’ve since released a couple dozen more single malts, but it’s these early Ben Nevis (Ben Nevi?) that established The Whisky Jury as a bottler to take seriously. If you want to learn more about The Whisky Jury you should probably read this interview founder Joeri gave to Whiskylifestyle, a blog run by Noortje, who is one of my favourite Dutch whisky people.
Why have I never before reviewed anything from The Whisky Jury? Hard to say. But the first releases were only sold at a single Dutch shop that mostly focuses on investment. And, if I remember correctly, they were offered for a premium too. So, that was a turn off and certainly contributed to the fact that I, while maybe not overlooked, at least haven’t gotten around to The Whisky Jury. It is what it is, I guess.
Admittedly, this is not the most timely review. The Whisky Jury’s Ben Nevis 1995 23 Years quickly sold out at the time and is nigh on impossible to find nowadays. I only got my hands on a sample thanks to the generosity of another Belgian bottler. Maybe this one will break the dam, so the speak.
Ben Nevis 1995 23 Years (51.2%, The Whisky Jury, C#970)
Nose: Clearly some mineral touches, dunnage, honey and beeswax, but the fruits leave an immediate impression as well. There’s grapefruit, pickled lemon, mango, papaya. What more can you ask for? Taste: Lovely waxiness and oily quality accompanied by a light touch of coriander, but this is mainly about the fruitiness. Pineapple, lime, mango, papaya. It’s all there. And it’s all I need. Finish: Lingering fruits, herbal tea, minerals and just a pinch of pepper. Long.
I knew what to expect here, but I'm still always pleasantly surprised every time I have a mid-1990s Ben Nevis in my glass. A belated congratulations to The Whisky Jury for a great first release.