...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Ben Nevis 22 year old 1992 Cadenhead Small Batch

I know what you're thinking. And the answer is no, I did not already review this whisky during my first Malt Bar South Park post. Yet even if I did (and I didn't), sometimes it's helps to review a whisky separate from overwhelming surroundings that could have influenced the original experience. Hypothetically.

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Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Cadenhead
Series: Small Batch
Age: 22 years old (1992-2014)
Maturation: a pair of ex-bourbon hoggies
Bottles: 444
Alcohol by Volume: 53.5%
(from a purchased sample)

A pleasant amber color to it. Oooh, weird nose. It starts off with a Springbank-like industrial note TIMES TEN, almost edging into Fettercairn and Loch Lomond territory. Then there's cucumber skins, ash, cherry popsicles and a fruit basket going overripe. After ~30 minutes in the glass it calms down and pulls itself together. Melon, cocoa, ash, flower blossoms and antiseptic. The palate is very herbal. Dried oregano, fresh ginger and melon rind. Good bitterness and sweetness. Slightly fudgy. Molasses + toffee + cannabis (not the worst combination). Dried herbs and honey in the finish. Slightly nutty. "Gingerful".

DILUTED TO ~46%abv
The funk returns to the nose, but so does a bright orange oil note. It also has some strong chalky and earthy notes that carry into the palate. The palate remains herbal and gingery. A bit of industrial funk here too. Sweet and tart (limes!). The toffee returns, as does a hint of bitterness. The finish has IPA-like grapefruit. Ginger and bitter herbs. Smoke residue. Great length.

It's a dark swampy whisky when it first hits the glass, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but balance is restored with plenty of air. The palate is herbal throughout, and does a good job of not going too sweet or too bitter. Again (hypothetically), "the palate gets the edge here."

This falls into the "fun whisky" category for me. It is anything but dull, delivering the sort of entertainment that works for a fluid ounce or three, but not something I'd want an entire bottle of. I anticipate even better Ben Nevises ahead...

 - might be available at some Cadenhead shops
Pricing - somewhere around €130-€160 (w/VAT)
Rating - 84