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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ben Nevis 6 year old 2013 Single Cask Nation, 67.6%ABV

Monday: a Ben Nevis that I totally get and adore.
Today: not Monday's whisky

Six years in a first fill amontillado butt resulted in 754 bottles of 67.6%abv Ben Nevis. Those aren't typos.

I am not a high-ABV fan when it comes to scotch, and this is the second-strongest single malt I've ever tried. I wouldn't have given it a go had it not been Ben Nevis. But it is and so I did. I coated my esophagus with lard beforehand so the poison could safely slide right down.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Single Cask Nation
Age: 6 years old (Dec 2013 to Sep 2020)
Maturation: first fill amontillado butt
Cask #: 1278
Outturn: 754 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 67.6%
(from a bottle split)


I'm starting with a diluted version because.

The nose is extra dirty at a diluted 50%abv, and I love dirty sherry casks, but this is something else. It's like a mix of burnt bark, hot rubber and urine. It's almost peaty. Somewhere behind the filth awaits a spoonful of raspberry jam. It's similar at full strength, though more closed. Burnt rubber, piss and pears up front, wet sand and marzipan in the back.

The palate reads cleaner than the nose at 50%abv. There are apples, black raisins, balsamic vinegar and plenty of woody bitterness. It develops notes of vinyl and earth with time. It is surprisingly drinkable at full strength, though quite hot, of course. Tart and tangy notes take up most of the space, with touches of salt and raisins in the background.

At 50%abv, the finish is all tannins, rubber and black raisins. It's a little sweeter and less tannic at cask strength, with a little bit of tart apples in the way back.


Though I have avoided do thus so far, I am now going to use a word that makes some men uncomfortable. Sulfur. This is a sulfurous whisky, especially on the nose. Element S is not a dealbreaker for me, but a whisky has to have something to join S, counter it, frame it, or offset it. The nose does not have that. The palate has Aggro Cask going on, but that's not a plus. This did work better at full strength, where the tartness shines (or burns), but I'm not sure how much of this can be consumed comfortably in one sitting. I don't know. It's difficult to see a 754-bottle, 67.6%abv, sulfurous 6-year-old as anything but a stunt release. It did sell through though. What an age we live in.

Availability - Sold out (USA)
Pricing - maybe around $90
Rating - 72 (neat only)

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