...where distraction is the main attraction.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ben Nevis 15 year old 2003 Blackadder Raw Cask, cask 383

After reviewing two young sherry cask-led Ben Nevii, I'm trying out a run of five consecutive bourbon cask BNs, gradually increasing in age, beginning with this 15 year old hoggie from Blackadder. In my previous review of a Raw Cask single malt I said I liked the idea of this range more than the results, but I wouldn't mind a nude Nevis for the sake of this series.

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Independent Bottler: Blackadder
Range: Raw Cask
Age: 15 years (15 December 2003 to January 2019)
Maturation: Hogshead
Cask number: 383
Outturn: 279
Alcohol by Volume: 55.5%
(from a bottle split)

Ah, this is the stuff. The surprisingly complex nose holds stones, ocean, soil, apple pie and vanilla fudge, as well as hints of strawberry jam and apricots. But its earthiness reads the loudest. With time it develops a combo of lychee and medicinal notes that somehow work. The palate is earthy, fruity and sweet, with nectarines and honey. There's also an OBE-style metal-meets-dunnage note to keep the sugars in check, but it gradually gives in as the whisky gets very sweet with time. It finishes with honey, lemon juice, salt and a hint of smoke.

DILTUED TO ~46%abv, or 1¼ tsp of water per 30mL whisky
Ocean and earth make up most of the nose with hints of anise and cut grass. The neat palate's sweetness has been washed away, leaving behind minerals, very tart limes and old newspapers. It finishes earth and smoky, with a squeeze of lime juice.

This is one of the better Raw Casks I've had the pleasure of trying. It is in fact not too raw. The nose is excellent, mixing a sturdy earthiness with smaller fruit notes. For me, the palate works better when it's diluted, as the sweetness dims and some heavier, old fashioned notes appear. To be totally vague, I must say this one feels the most "Ben Nevis" of the three whiskies so far. And now my hopes have risen for one stellar bourbon cask to appear in this series...

Availability - Sold out or almost so, was sold in Europe and the US
Pricing - probably north of $150, because Blackadder
Rating - 87

No comments:

Post a Comment