ABV: 48% Distillery: Ben Nevis Bottler: That Boutique-y Whisky Company Region: HighlandsAge: 23
There’s been a fair few Boutique-y batches of enthusiast favourite Ben Nevis over the years – we’re now all the way up to Batch 10 – the oldest release from this distillery by the bottler. The release consists of 558 bottles at 48% and with a sticker price of £169.95 from Master of Malt.
Nose: Pineapple chunks meet wood lacquer whilst caramel sits with vibrant lemony-polish. Running throughout an array of bright fruits – apples, oranges, clementines, mandarins – these sit with some umami aromas – cream cheese, patented leather, air-dried serrano ham and rice wine. The addition of water adds gingerbread men alongside move overt citrus influence – lemon balm and oils.
Taste: Tons of texture and body here – a rather glorious combination of sweet and sour sheened fruits alongside underlying creaminess. Pineapple is joined by guava and mango whilst grapefruit, gooseberry and melon provide some tartness. The fruits are complemented by milk latte coffee, milk chocolate and well-baked brioche. The mid-palate expresses the underlying spirit character with olive and sunflower oils set against a swipe of axle grease and a background meaty note. Reduction maintains the weight of the distillate, but adds a tinned fruit quality – moving this steadily towards stone fruits with apricots and peaches joining the tropical medley.
Finish: Long with lemon and grapefruit set against crème caramel and ginger spicing.
A stone cold excellent Ben Nevis that highlights both the body of the distillate as well as it’s tendency to marry fruits and funk, particularly at higher age statements. There’s lots to dig into here – taken on a warm summery day the bright tropically fruit juice nature of both the nose and palate would perfectly suit the season – but similarly, now, winter time, the background semi-industrial qualities of the Nevis distillate provide more than enough deeper intrigue to explore. Highly characterful and at the same time exceedingly moreish. Yes, I like this a lot.
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