Ben Nevis 1996 21 Years Old (The Daily Dram)
It’s been a week of reviews from the new “Poisenous Frog Series” from The Daily Dram, a Dutch independent label. Both the Caol Ila and the Glenrothes—while wildly different of course—were very much to my liking. Now it’s time to move on to the Ben Nevis.
In the past, Ben Nevis has never been much of a personal favourite. While I could appreciate the general high quality of Ben Nevis, I never really enjoyed its dirty-ish style. That is, until recently it seems. It’s very common for someone’s flavour preferences to change, and maybe that’s what’s happening here.
One of the highlights of the past few months, for me at least, was a Ben Nevis bottled for The Whisky Exchange’s Whisky Show. This Ben Nevis from The Daily Dram is from the same vintage. Of course that doesn’t mean it’ll be as good, but I can hope though, can’t I?
Ben Nevis 1996 21 Years Old (50.6%, The Daily Dram)
Nose: A whiff of sulphur to open things up, accompanied by a metallic/acidic aroma that I’ve come to associate with Ben Nevis, as well as baby puke. Soft notes of rye bread, and a whisper of orange peel, lemon juice and candlewax.
Taste: Lovely creamy stuff, and incredible step up from the nose. A wonderful citrus influence, and subtle notes of honeycomb, as well as soft herbs and spices. Light coriander notes, a hint of nutmeg.
Finish: Orange syrup and lingering spices.
The nose, to me at least, is classic Ben Nevis. Whereas for many that might be a selling point, it isn’t for me. The palate however, is such a dramatic step up that it lifts to overall score to something very acceptable.
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.