When the WhiskyNerds release a new bottling, they sure grab my attention—and I know that’s also the case for many other whisky enthusiasts. Of course, it helps that they’re kind enough to send me a sample for each of their new whiskies.
This time around they’re joining in on the Ben Nevis 1996 bandwagon. There’ve been a number of well-received mid-90s Ben Nevis over the years, and especially 1996 seems to be a gem of a vintage, displaying a fruitiness that’s rarely seen in modern whisky.
The WhiskyNerds release matured in a hogshead, and by the looks of it not a very active one. This release is only part of the cask—they only managed to secure 75 bottles.
Ben Nevis 1996 23 Years (46.1%, WhiskyNerds, C#954)
Nose: One for the purists. This is about the spirit, not the cask. A hint of banana peel, some soft lemon yoghurt, tinned pineapple and a creamy waxiness. It has a faint mineral quality too. Finally a tinge of sweet barley water. Taste: Super waxy and creamy and pretty concentrated. There are bright yellow and green fruits, but also ginger and cracked peppercorns. Soft minerals and just a pinch of salt too. This is what happens when you don’t upset good spirit with overzealous wood. Finish: The fruit returns after a little while, while the waxiness is the gift that keeps on giving.
Another winning pick by the WhiskyNerds. Now I wonder what happened to the rest of the cask?