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Monday, January 10, 2022

Ben Nevis 19 year old 1996, private cask 1424

Private cask of Ben Nevis?!?!?! #lifegoals. But a private cask of Ben Nevis now probably requires $100K of extra walkin' around money. Also #lifegoals. I'm not sure to whom cask 1424 belonged, but its contents seemed to have travelled all over the world: to Serge, to a few dozen whiskybase members, and The Whisky Show 2021. Though 1990s Ben Nevis sherry casks are the rage (for good reason), #1424 seems to have been a former bourbon vessel...

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands (Western)
Age: at least 19 years old (1996 - ????)
Maturation: ???
Cask #: 1424
Outturn: ??? bottles
Cask Owner: ???
Alcohol by Volume: 51.8%
(from a bottle split)


The nose has chalk, wax, citronella and something coastal up front. Then comes the barley, apple skins, lychee and pineapple. Diluting the whisky to 46%abv tightens the nose's focus to lychee, pineapple, chalk and peaches.

Great mouthfeel here. Pineapple, guava and lemongrass arrive first in the palate. After 30 minutes minerals and herbal bitterness provide excellent dimension and balance. But 46%abv is where it's at. It becomes herbal, leafy, mineral, very tart, and almost smoky. Limes, peaches and lemongrass ripple beneath.

It finishes with bitter herbs smothered in wax. Limes and lemongrass hold on endlessly. At 46%abv, it finishes with minerals, limes and lemongrass. It's gloriously tart.


I can tell why certain wax-loving enthusiasts have befouled their britches over this whisky. It may be waxier than any modern Clynelish I've had. The merging of the wax with the minerals, herbs and fruits elevates it for me. This must have been a lovely bottle (let alone cask!) to have. Enjoy and share, all you lucky ducks out there!

Availability - Secondary market, maybe
Pricing - I don't want to know
Rating - 90

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