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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Ben Nevis 16 year old 1998 Cadenhead Authentic Collection

Ben Nevis + Cadenhead = a reliable next step. I didn't purposely set this series up to have several bourbon casks in a row, so it's just dumb luck that I have a chance to drink a few Ben Nevii that are (theoretically) closer to the spirit. Monday's Blackadder was very good. I'm looking forward to this single bourbon barrel of my favorite Western Highlands single malt.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Cadenhead
Range: Authentic Collection
Age: 16 years old (1998 to Nov 2015)
Maturation: bourbon barrel
Outturn: 228 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 51.2%
(from a bottle split)

The nose begins with a good balance of metal, soil, orange peels and peach skins. Then some ocean notes, fresh cilantro, jalapeños and snuffed candle. At first the palate shows minerals, limes, kiwis and pound cake. But then it makes a beeline for rum. Specifically, Foursquare. And I can't get it out of my head. It finishes with Foursquare, limes, grass and black pepper.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ⅔ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Oh my gourd, now there's Foursquare in the nose. Once I can swim through the rum I find baked apples and toffee pudding. The palate is very desserty, with spice cake and raspberry sorbet. It finishes with berries and brown sugar.

Well, shoot. While there is in fact a 1998 Cadenhead Ben Nevis that was finished in rum casks, this is not the one. I've seen the bottle this came from. Anyway, the neat nose delights again, and the neat palate hits all the right spots for the first two sips. The Foursquare switcheroo is a little odd but not a dealbreaker. My bigger issue is that the whisky gets much too liqueur-like once diluted. So keep this whisky neat!

Availability - Probably sold out
Pricing - €90, I think
Rating - 84 (neat only)

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