Ben Nevis 25yo (56%, OB, C#98/51/1, 628 Bottles, Distilled 12/1984 Bottled 01/2010) – Scotch Whisky Tasting Note

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Ben Nevis 25yo (56%, OB, C#98/51/1, 628 Bottles, Distilled 12/1984 Bottled 01/2010)

Ben Nevis Distillery established in 1825, is one of the oldest licensed distilleries in Scotland. The distillery is nestled at the foot of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, which has a summit elevation of 4’406 feet above sea level. This imposing mountain provides an impressive background to a traditional Scottish craft. (From the website http://www.bennevisdistillery.com )

This sample was filled into freshly dumped bourbon barrels on the 20th of December 1984 and continued to mature in these casks for 14 years until on the 14th October 1998 the whisky was vatted and transferred into freshly dumped sherry butts. Maturation continued in these casks until this a particular cask was bottled in early January 2010 as a 25 year old. (From the wee neck booklet on the bottle).

The nose is closed at first but quickly opens up with rich tinned fruit, Christmas cake, warmed raisins and fruit cake backed by light varnish, hints of clove, oak notes and Demerara sugar. As you may surmise from the descriptors the nose is very rich, after a few minutes there is a hint of fennel lurking in the back ground along with an equally vague hint of burlap along with more of the oak. The more time it spends in the glass the more it evolves so it’s best to nip this in the bud and have a taste other wise we’ll be at this all day. There is strong (which is good)  bursts of sherry richness and huge dry oak and lashing of Fry’s cocoa and then a creaminess followed by light Marzipan, cold black unsweetened tea, more sherry and dryness. Oh my, what a complex wonderful dram. The finish is warming, long and sweet at first followed by the really excellent cocoa and the dryness. Think of old musical instruments and antique furniture shops and quality. After a number of minutes some malt makes a late appearance.

Impressive. Indeed, Ben Nevis is special. (Beware of palate failure; your palate must be tip top, no heavy meals, garlic, blue cheee or sheep’s brains, this is a delicate whisky with a big public persona that really isn’t if you take the meaning).

Score 89 points

http://www.bennevisdistillery.com/

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http://www.whiskyintelligence.com/2010/04/ben-nevis-25yo-single-cask-at-single-malts-direct-scotch-whisky-news/ for further information and it’s priced at £78.99

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