Everyone hears about some new or old Ben Nevis 1996, that millésime seems to be really good and the number of cask nearly infinite! So I will grab some of those fantastic BN’s and see what happen!
Ben Nevis 21 yo 1996-2018 (55.5%, OB for La Maison du Whisky, refill sherry butts, 1049 bottles)
Nose: A lot of tannins, leather, oranges, chalk, honey, citruses which add some acidity directly followed by hints of wood. It’s a nice nose but a bit alcoholic.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is quite good. A lot of tannins once more. Orange peels, honey, tannins, spices, bitter oranges and hints of mint which add a delicate freshness.
Finish: Mid-long. The alcohol is too much present in my opinion. It’st austere with a lot of mineral notes and a lot of tannins.
The alcohol is globally too much present for me. The nose and mouth are quite good despite the austerity but the finish is a bit too much austere for my taste.
Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996-2019 (52.2%, Thompson Bros. for The Amber Light, Royal Mile Whiskies, refill sherry, 497 bottles)
Nose: Old books, oranges, leather, hints of metallic notes and cocoa.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect. Lemons, honey, chalk, leather and some pine freshness. Then it progressively evolves on some mineral notes. That’s a really complex mouth, I love it!
Finish: Very long. Lemons, honey, chalk and some mineral notes. It’s a razor sharp finish!
“Perfectly balanced, as all things should be.”
That one is really good but lacks a bit of complexity on the nose and finish to go higher. Nonetheless, it’s still a gem!
Ben Nevis 19 yo 1996-2015 (50.1%, Whisky-Fässle)
Nose: A bunch of leather, old dusty books, almonds and even some candied oranges adding some sweetness.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the flavours are intense. Chalk, honey, candied oranges again, tobacco, raisons, ripe plums, hints of lemons. The chalk is clearly surpassing everything else, it’a very mineral mouth.
Finish: Long. Liquorice, spices, chalk, oak and ripe plums.
That Ben Nevis is not very complex but I really love it. The intensity of flavours, perfect alcohol integration and mineral profile are a really enjoyable combo in my opinion.
It’s a pretty good start in the BN’96 world, isn’t it? I hope that the next part will go as well as this one!