Today I have the chance to taste the very first bottling of the Belgian independent bottler « The Whisky Jury », a 1995 Ben Nevis and to get one step higher we gonna also try one of the most recent of their release, an Eye Land Pork! (Nice one by the way!)
Eye Land Pork 21yo 1998-2019 (48.3%, The Whisky Jury, Refill Hogshead, cask #twj-ork-01, 197 bottles)
Colour: White wine.
Nose: No alcohol presence. A very integrated and complex nose with green olives, sea salt, brine, waxy notes, floral notes, heather honey, cookie dough, freshly cut lemons, some fresh granny smith apples adding some acidity to this already highly interesting profile, citruses and mentholated freshness, earthy peat and a delicate veil of smoke in the background.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is oily. Here we go again with a basket full of granny smith, citruses adding a lot of freshness at the start of the mouth, heather honey, hints of ashes and then arrives a deep veil of smoke slowly pushing away the fruits and making some room for some coastal notes as sea salt, iodine, brine and also some hints of earthy peat in the background.
Finish: Long with a deep veil of smoke at first, then some earthy peat, heather honey, lemons and at the end some lingering charcoal and cold ashes notes.
A wonderful Highland park full of complexity, power, integration and balance, probably one of the best HP recent released I tried.
Ben Nevis 23yo 1995-2019 (51.2%, The Whisky Jury, Refill Hogshead, cask #970, 245 bottles)
Colour: Light gold.
Nose: No alcohol presence at all and a wonderful burst of fruits and wax, it’s starting pretty well isn’t it?! A big fruit basket full of ripe yellow peaches, white peaches, pineapples, over-ripe passion fruits, goyaves, acacia honey, floral notes, mangoes and also a lot of chalk and mineral notes.
Mouth: The alcohol integration is perfect and the texture is very thick and oily. It’s a real burst of tropical fruits at first with pineapples, mangoes, passion fruits, lime, guavas, lemons, citruses, herbal notes, chalk, mineral notes, noble wood, black tea and a lot of wax a the end of the mouth. Wow!
Finish: Long. It’s quite dry and bitter at first with noble wood and black tea leaves. Then comes the tropical fruits and the herbal notes around those. After that the end of the finish is full of tropical fruits remnants and a lot of chalk and mineral notes.
Every box are checked in there, that’s roughly a perfect Ben Nevis in my opinion! It’s honest and powerful, full of balance, complexity and integration, there is literally not any flaw. It’s highly quaffable and every sip is calling the next one, what a wonderful dram to have in my glass!
What should I say more about those two bottles? When you start as an independent bottler with those kind of flawless bottlings you’re clearly setting the level very high and we saw that through the years they just kept the same level of quality and I love that mindset, so hats of to The Whisky Jury!