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Hi, this is one of our (almost) daily tastings. Santé!

October 23, 2013


Cock-and-bull trio No.3, Ben Nevis, Ben Nevis, Linkwood

There are quite a few independent Ben Nevisses these days and even the owners seem to be willing to issue more single casks. So, we'll start this random session with one new Ben Nevis and let's see how we'll go on...

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1995/2013 (51.8%, Càrn Mor for Whisky Circle Pinzgau, sherry hogshead, cask #965)

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1995/2013 (51.8%, Càrn Mor for Whisky Circle Pinzgau, sherry hogshead, cask #965) Four stars Sherry + Ben Nevis is often a funny game. Colour: gold. Nose: very dry and leathery! A leather shop somewhere in Turkey, with hundreds of jackets, coats, shoes, even trousers (I think we got it, S.) Some gunflints too, a feeling of smoke, then soot and saltpetre, moss, cellar, fern, engine oil, chocolate, matches, more rocks... And before you ask, no cabbage/eggs. More raisins, chocolate and oranges after a while, it's becoming much less dry. With water: yesss! More fresh herbs, mint, lime and oranges. Doesn't go off the tracks - as some may do. Mouth (neat): as I often say, Ben Nevis is never boring. This time it's a combination of malt and oranges that take the lead, with something slightly burnt in the background (bacon??) and a growing chocolaty side. Big cinchona and chlorophyll too, a little biting. With water: chocolate, pepper and oranges. Remains just a notch prickly/fizzy. Finish: good length. Orangeade, touches of leather again in the aftertaste. Comments: fun and very good, as a middle-aged Ben Nevis should be. Not 'dirty' at all! SGP:652 - 87 points.

Well, it's hard for me to keep these sessions fully 'randomised'. For example, we've also got this brand new official Ben Nevis...

Ben Nevis 15 yo 1998//2013 (54.5%, OB, oloroso, cask #586)

Ben Nevis 15 yo 1998//2013 (54.5%, OB, oloroso, cask #586) Four stars Colour: gold. Nose: how very close to the 1995! It's just more immediately rounded, with the raisins and the oranges appearing right at first nosing. It's also a notch grassier, maybe a little meatier as well, while more tropical fruits are showing themselves, such as papayas. Gunflints and leather remain there as well. With water: nice development too even if it keeps a buttery side. Marmalade, menthol... Mouth (neat): more bitterness this time, kumquats, pepper and ginger, coriander and cardamom, more pepper, tannins, caraway seeds, a salty side... This is very firm. With water: same profile as the 1995, with a little more orange blossom water but also more 'greenness'. Right, grass. Finish: quite long, a little bitter, peppery. Bitter oranges. Comments: another relatively clean one, much enjoyable. Things happening around these babies. SGP:552 - 85 points.

I think we ought to have a sherry monster after these fearless Ben Nevisses. Maybe this wee one...

Linkwood 1997/2013 (45%, Gordon & MacPhail, refill sherry hogshead, cask #10811)

Linkwood 1997/2013 (45%, Gordon & MacPhail, refill sherry hogshead, cask #10811) Four stars and a half With the sweet classic 'licensed' label by G&M. Colour: amber. Nose: perfect chocolaty sherry, luscious and sexy, sweet and liquoricy, with added touches of parsley, mint and prunes. Very easy and, yeah, sexy. Mouth: a big sherry for a refill hogshead. Great balance. Perfect Demerara sugar, oranges, funny touches of smoked salmon, more prunes, tarte tatin, millionaire shortbread, blackberry jam, pipe tobacco, Mexican chocolate sauce, more liquorice and just wee touches of rubber. Right, a rubberiness. Really easy and really very good. Finish: quite long, on jams and chocolate. Cassis jelly? Walnut wine in the aftertaste. Comments: implacably good. Not just to my liking, plain good! SGP:641 - 88 points.







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