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

July 24, 2014


Two Ben Nevis from the 1970s

Old Ben Nevis again, and another opportunity not to get bored. Because there’s always something happening in Ben Nevis…

Ben Nevis 43 yo 1970/2014 (44.8%, Eiling Lim)

Ben Nevis 43 yo 1970/2014 (44.8%, Eiling Lim) Four stars and a half Colour: gold. Nose: ah yes, this very idiosyncratic mix of rose-scented soap (which isn’t exactly soapy) and carbon paper at first nosing, followed by several tropical fruits such as papayas and mangos. After two or three minutes, rather more almonds as well as hints of marshmallows and bubblegum, which is very Ben Nevis indeed. Tree bark. After all these years it’s still the distillate that remained quite vocal, but it’s true that there isn’t the usual heavy sherry that’s often to be found in old Ben Nevis. Mouth: very much in keeping with the nose, with more or less the same combo in the arrival, then more green oak but ‘in a good way’. Green tea and tobacco, more leaves, chlorophyll, a bit of green curry powder… I also find herbs (tarragon?) as well as notes of barbecued marshmallows. Ever tried that? Finish: medium length. Some oranges coming through now, grapefruits, one or two bitter spices… Comments: surprisingly fresh for a 43 yo malt whisky. I enjoyed this greenish oak, it added freshness. Also funny that the distillate itself never gave up! SGP:661 - 88 points.

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1977/1995 (59.8%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection)

Ben Nevis 17 yo 1977/1995 (59.8%, Cadenhead, Authentic Collection) Two stars and a half An old bottling. Many whiskies in this ‘small white label’ series used to be quite… brutal! Colour: straw Nose: how close! Same branches and bark, almonds, ink, paraffin… Having said that it’s much less fruity than the 1970, without any sweets this time, and with more grass, leaves and even walnut skin. A rather austere and shy Ben Nevis. With water: quite some soap, paraffin, waxed papers, mashed potatoes… Not an easy one – and certainly not a sexy babe. Mouth (neat): very aggressive and very lemony and mentholated. Ultra-sharp and, in that sense, extremely spectacular. But hard to try like that… With water: water works much better on the palate. Lovely ultra-zesty profile, with litres of lime juice. A wee soapiness remains in the background, though, not too nice here. Finish: very long, all on lime juice. I’m sure we could try to make a mega-margarita by mixing this with heavy mezcal. Comments: other 1977s by Cadenhead have been much more to my liking. SGP:471 - 79 points.

More tasting notes Check the index of all Ben Nevis I've tasted so far


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