...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Ben Nevis 18 year old 1996 Chapter 7

Last January, Diving for Pearls was All Ben Nevis All The Time. And it was soooooooooooo (un)popular, that I feel drawn to do another week of Ben Nevis in January 2019 in honor of January 2018. Each one of the three Ben Nevii this week is very different than the other two, which resulted in a very curious Taste Off. Starting with the youngest...

Chapter 7 is a Swiss independent bottler about whom I know nearly nothing. They began bottling whisky in 2014. There's a purdy official website. And Whiskybase shows no releases more recent than 2016. But they did bottle a Ben Nevis which has to account for something good. Let's see how their bourbon hogshead fared.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Chapter 7
Age: 18 years old (1996-2015)
Maturation: ex-bourbon cask
Cask #: 2 / (19/14)
Outturn: 272 bottles
Alcohol by Volume: 51.8%
(from a purchased sample)

The nose is a party, leading with pineapple, bacon, roses, cantaloupe and human muskiness. There are smaller notes of fresh cilantro and active American oak in the background. More roses pop up over time. Party palate, too! Papaya and guava, then tropical fruit Skittles? Citronella, peppery heat, hints of roses and bitter cocoa. It finishes with the same note of fruit + fruit candy. Some bitter cocoa and a peppery zing last the longest.

DILUTED TO ~46%abv, or ¾ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Simpler fruit notes in the nose, plantains and orange candy. Honey and fabric. A gentler, balanced palate now. Caramel, herbal bitterness, guava and a little bit of sugar. The long finish mirrors the palate.

I have never nosed anything like this before, whisky or otherwise. Dilution brings order, but I prefer it at full (albeit moderate) strength. Variety, spice of life, etc. The palate lacks the nose's complexity, but the tropical fruit and tropical fruit candy mixture is much appreciated. I'm uncertain if I'd want an entire bottle of this drunken food fight, but I am entertained. ❣Ben Nevis❣

Availability - Possibly a few retailers in Europe
Pricing - €100-€120, I think
Rating - 87

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