Here we go, another batch of those Ben Nevis 1996! Most of the time those are very consistent, let’s see if it’s also the case for these three bottlings!
Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996-2019 (55.3%, The Single Malts of Scotland, Sherry butt, cask #2019, 580 bottles)
Colour: Gold with lighter and darker hues, very nice!
Nose: No alcohol presence! Dry fruits, figs, peaches, plums, apricots, cereals, barley and caramelized apricots. It’s very surprising that the nose is very round, let’s see the mouth!
Mouth: The alcohol integration is very good and the texture is oily. It’s complex. Caramelized Red berries, blueberries and vanilla notes. Then there is a transition with some mineral and dry notes appearing, mainly chalk to be honest, that’s qui typical from the Ben Nevis distillate. Everything is mixed together and forms a nice complexity and a very nice balance!
Finish: Long and powerful. Mainly on mineral notes, chalk, leather and candied oranges in the background. A very nice austere and mineral finish.
A very nice complexity and balance, things starts pretty well!
Ben Nevis 19 yo 1996-2015 “Leo Tolstoy – Series No 8“(55.5%, Edition Spirit, Sherry butt, 255 bottles)
Colour: White wine. Surprising colour for a sherry cask.
Nose: A bit shy. Plums, dried fruits, almonds, raisins, plum jam, freshly cut fruits, mainly yellow and white. It’s very nice but a bit shy compared to the last nose.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is very good. No sherry markers at all. It’s very fruity. Yellow peach jam, fresh white peaches, plums and finally some mineral and chalk notes in the background. Very nice!
Finish: Long. A very big fresh and ripe fruits basket at first with a very powerful level of fruity notes. It finally completely fades of when a big load of chalk arrives, pure austere Ben Nevis profile on the last part of the finish!
I love this kind of profile, the perfect balance of ripe fruits and minerality. It’s fairly austere but that’s very very good, at least I really enjoy it!
Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996-2019 (53.6%, The Single Malts of Scotland, Hogshead, cask #1784, 182 bottles)
Colour: Light gold with auburn hues.
Nose: Quite similar to the last. A bit shy at first but it reveals itself with time. Chalk, candied citruses, lemons, cooked fruits, anise star, yellow peaches, mandarins, floral notes, freshly cut apples, bitter cocoa and light wood smoke on the background.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is oily. Everything is very sharp. Pineapples, mangoes, papayas, passion fruits adding some acidity. The mineral notes increases slowly with time and the mouth finishes with hints of citruses and lemons on the background.
Finish: Long. Exotic fruits all over the place slowly fading and letting some place to the mineral and chalk notes which will totally be dominant on the second part of the finish
The style on this one is bit different but even better, it’s just stunning. The complexity and sharpness of the profile is really enjoyable and it’s highly quaffable due to this perfect alcohol integration. A gem!
What a nice trio, one more time those ’96s Ben Nevis bottlings proved their consistency with some very nice dram, it’s fairly impressive. Good job and good selection of course!