A bunch of Ben Nevis ’96 – Part 2

Today I’ll test two nice Hogshead ’96 Ben Nevis and I added two bonus bottlings to the dance because… why not?!

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996-2019 (51.3%, Elixir Distillers, The Single Malts of Scotland for The Nectar, hogshead, cask #536, 249 bottles)

Colour: White wine.
Nose: It’s a nice fruity nose! Pineapples, papayas, ripe apricot, mangoes and even some hints of grass.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is very good. It’s a tropical fruits burst with ripe mangoes, papayas, pineapples, candle wax, pepper and hints of passion fruits adding some acidity. Good!
Finish: Long. A lot of fruits with some mineral notes in the background.

The nose is a bit underwhelming compared to the rest and it globally lacks a bit of complexity but it’s still a pretty good dram.

Score: 89

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1996-2018 (52.9%, Cadenhead, Single Cask, hogshead, 210 bottles)

Colour: White wine.
Nose: Chalk at first. Then it evolves with caramel, honey and some pine freshness that finally fade away to let appear humus, moss, mushrooms and some grassy notes. That’s very complex!
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect. It’s starting with chalk and fruits mainly. Lemons, citruses, melon and finally some honey. There is also a gentle pine freshness that enhances everything. The balance of fruitiness, minerality and freshness is stunning and just perfectly mastered. Wow.
Finish: Very long and very powerful. Lemons, chalk and honey which constantly move to one side or another of the balance.

Wow, that one is really impressive. Power, balance, alcohol integration, complexity… Nearly every boxe is getting checked right now. That’s the ticket!

Score: 91

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1997-2019 (48.8%, EVWC, 25 bottles)

Colour: White wine.
Nose: Chalk (yeah, I know), floral notes, grass and hints of honey adding sweetness.
Mouth: Alcohol integration is good. It starts as a fruit bomb with oranges, citruses and hints of pine woods. Then the fruits fades and the mineral side appears with chalk and even pastry and some white pepper in the background.
Finish: Long. There is a lot of minerality with chalk mainly and also honey and oranges adding some sweetness. Some mentholated notes appear at last and linger for a really long time.

This one is very monolithic but I like that kind of profiles driven by the minerality without being overwhelming moreover it’s really effective and easy to drink.

Score: 89

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998-2019 (50.3%, EVWC, 89 bottles)

Colour: White wine.
Nose: Mushrooms, plums, old wood and honey. There is a nice balance of freshness and fruitiness.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is very good. There are lots of lemons, chalk, citruses, oranges, honey and some mint freshness.
Finish: Long. Lemons and mint fighting each other with some chalk in the background. Then mentholated notes lingers for a really long time.

That’s another not very complex but very effective dram which is alse highly quaffable. That’s a success!

Score: 90

This ends up my Ben Nevis ’96 articles. I found some pretty good drams and if I had to remember something it will be the constant quality of those bottlings. Good job guys!

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