...where distraction is the main attraction.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Ben Nevis 13 year old 1999 Chieftain's, cask 240

Here's some recycled content!

It's been seven months ago since that post, and this bottle has been a joy throughout. Knowing I wasn't totally delusional in 2012 has proven comforting.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Chieftain's
Age: 13 years old (May 1999 - August 2012)
Maturation: hogshead
Cask: 240
Outturn: 354
Alcohol by Volume: 46%
Chillfiltered? No
Added colorant? No

I remember the first third of this sentimental bottle being very clean and fruity (see above) but a touch hot on the palate. Today's tasting pour is from the bottom third...

In-season nectarines, pears and mango position themselves in the front of the nose. Ooh, but now some dunnage funk, dirty hay and aged hard cheese drift through the background. Belgian saison, limes and a hint of toffee pudding appear after the whisky has had plenty of time in the glass.

Limes, lemons, guava and tart berries start the palate. A super tart crisp mineral white (adjectives!) wine. Mild sweetness and a silky maltiness. It has shed all of the edgy heat from earlier in the bottle.

The lonnnnng finish holds limes, nectarines, barley and the aforementioned adjectivey white wine.

The whisky has found its peak, here at the bottom of the bottle. Over these seven months the nose has taken on additional characteristics and the palate has softened up.

This whisky makes me wonder if yeast is one of the keys to Ben Nevis's quality. They're one of the last, if not the last, Scottish distillery to use brewer's yeast. Perhaps those dazzling little microorganisms toot out the precious fruit and funk notes. Cheers to those little farts. I'm going to have to open another Ben Nevis soon.

Availability - Probably sold out four or five years ago
Pricing - it was $70-$75
Rating - 89