Ben Nevis 1996
Posted 24 November 2021 by Matt / In Ben Nevis
Bottle Name: Ben Nevis 1996
Distillery: Ben Nevis
Bottler: The Whisky Exchange
Glass Weight: 489g
This lasted minutes – as much Nevis does nowadays. It spent its 25 years of life in a single ex-bourbon hogshead before being bottled earlier this year at 51.1% ABV.
Nose: Bright, sweet and tart fruits combine. Mango, dragon fruit, peach, apricot and pineapple chunks – together with plenty of tinned fruit juices. Brioche and white stick bread sit with golden syrup spread over French toast and light touches of pepper and angelica. Water offers more white fruits with lychee, gooseberry and honeydew melon coming to the fore. Overall, it’s a similar, but lighter in profile.
Taste: More fruit-forward action. This time, a little darker and more reductive. Pineapple and mango cobbler and puree together with apple crumble and a development which adds freshly baked oven buns together with buttery pastries - all livened with pepper, ginger and perfectly judged toasted oak. Reduction reveals honey and almonds. It retains the fruit-forward character, whilst delivering less spice at the tail end.
Finish: Medium to long with fading tropical notes and residual pepperiness and char.
An entirely lovely Ben Nevis which is the very definition of fruit-driven distillate. Hard to fault in that regard – though personally I usually enjoy a touch of dirty funk and oiliness from this Highlander. There’s none of that here – it’s clean, precise and defined throughout. And as such, I’m unable to score this any lower than excellent.
Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange
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