Ben Nevis 1996/2015 Whiskybase
A couple of weeks ago I was unable to attend a bottoms-up festival, which was supposed to be held at my place. But something else came up: an (almost) all expenses paid trip to Cancun, Mexico. Yeah, every once in a while whisky needs to step aside and make room for other fun stuff.
Luckily another venue was found, and the festival didn’t have to be cancelled. I submitted some bottles for the bottoms-up tasting anyway and when I came back home from an epic Mexico trip, 10 almost empty bottles were waiting for me. All of ’em (except one) different the the bottles I entered. Thanks guys! I emptied most into sample bottles to taste later.
One of the whiskies donated to me was a Ben Nevis 1996, bottled by Whiskybase to celebrated the 60.000 bottles in their database. There was still enough left in the bottle for two decent drams. Here are my tasting notes.
Ben Nevis 1996/2015 (50,6%, Whiskybase, C#2121)
Nose: Sultana’s, oranges and raisins with a bit of salty licorice. Pleasant enough, but it also has a slight sour or metallic quality. Ruins it a bit for me.
Taste: Oily with black pepper, cloves and nutmeg. Also caramel, milk chocolate and oranges.
Finish: Subtle red fruit, twigs and chocolate. Pretty long.
Good but not great. Wouldn’t be a buy for me. Not that it matters anyway, since it sold out quickly after its release.
I tasted this blind and as soon as I smelled the sourness in the nose I should’ve guessed Ben Nevis. I didn’t, but it is still good to know that I recognize this (for me) distinctive Ben Nevis aroma, even when tasting blind.
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.