...where distraction is the main attraction.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Ben Nevis 23 year old 1996 Single Malts of Scotland, cask 1783

Monday's 23 year old Ben Nevis, distilled in 1996, matured in American oak and bottled by Elixir Distillers, was fabulous. Today's 23 year old Ben Nevis was also distilled in 1996, matured in American oak and bottled by Elixir Distillers. I normally don't the opportunity to compare such similar whiskies, but Ben Nevis, man.

On a related note, I'm glad to see bourbon cask Ben Nevii finally getting some reviewer love. Nevis sherry casks had been getting most of the attention over the past few years, as sherry casks often do. Of course, this will mean these single bourbon casks will also go up in price now. Yay.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Elixir Distillers
Range: Single Malts of Scotland
Age: exactly 23 years old (5 Nov 1996 to 5 Nov 2019)
Maturation: hogshead
Cask #: 1783
Outturn: 214 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 52.3%
(from a bottle split)

The nose reads heavier on this '96, when compared to Monday's '96. Less fruit, more dried leaves and brine. Some fresh eucalyptus and mint leaves as well. Some sharp cheddar, bung cloth, a few limes and lemons. Though it has a thick mouthfeel, the palate actually comes across lighter and very fruity, especially on tart berries. There's also some cocoa and salt. It intensifies with time, picking up some burnt plastic and coal smoke notes. But those are wiped away by a booming sweetness. The intensity continues on into the finish. Very tart, very sweet and just a whiff of smoke.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or > ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Ah here are some fruits from the nose, specifically white peaches. Some flower blossoms, soil and brine too. Not much change in the palate. Perhaps more on white peaches than berries now. A bit more bitterness. Otherwise it remains the same. The finish softens up, less intense, less tart. Still very sweet, though. Maybe some hints of earth and lemons.

A Ben Nevis for the sweet tooth. It's almost too sweet for me, as the sugar starts shouting down most of the other elements. Excellent mouthfeel though, and a good nose, before or after dilution. Maybe a little water does it some good overall.

Aaaaaaaand prices have already gone up, with this bottle weighing in at €220. Yeesh. It's still around if you're willing to fork over that much Euro. I'll opt out.

Availability - The usual specialty retailers in continental Europe
Pricing - €200-€230
Rating - 87