Google Sherried Ben Nevis on the table

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

March 10, 2020


Sherried Ben Nevis on the table

Naturally. And once again, this to the good health of Colin Ross. Let’s see what we have today…

Ben Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019)

Ben Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB, +/-2019) Four stars and a half
I’m trying to follow BN10 often. That is to say every month. I’m joking… Having said that the prices have now gotten a little high (75-80€) so it’s no B-F-Y-B anymore, I’m afraid. Now, I’m sure this juice can pull much higher prices yet when bottled as Japanese whisky! Colour: pale gold. Nose: yes, green walnuts, mustard and bitter oranges, plus a little leather and quite some soot, liquorice lozenges and mercurochrome. Mouth: absolutely terrific, salty, sooty, with some leather and some unusual kind of salted lemon curd or something. Plus chalk, walnut wine, raw chocolate, bergamots… Indeed, terrific whisky, at a prefect strength. I’m surprised you cannot find it more often at restaurants, I’m sure it would go well with food. Finish: long, perfect, on salted walnuts and lemons. Perhaps a touch of soap in the aftertaste, not unseen in Ben Nevis. No problems, that’s natural soap. Comments: good as always. Careful with the prices though, if I may. No good prices, no goodwill.
SGP:462 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2019 (53.4%, The Single Malts of Scotland for Kensington Wine Market, butt, cask #1659, 440 bottles)

Ben Nevis 22 yo 1996/2019 (53.4%, The Single Malts of Scotland for Kensington Wine Market, butt, cask #1659, 440 bottles) Four stars and a half
You may want to remember that this is ‘Kensington road’ in Calgary, Canada, and not the Royal Borough of Kensington in the West End of central London. Colour: gold. Nose: extremely varnishy and even glue-ish at first nosing, with a lot of tyre sticker glue at first, then rather jerez vinegar, new sneakers (expensive Nikes for poor people), and only then apple pies and amaretti/marzipan. Disconcerting to say the least, but this style may, sometimes, be full of promises. With water: the best use of water indeed. Mustard, walnuts, salt, black raisins. A combo that always works. Mouth (neat): huge, this time rather on kirsch and other stone fruit spirits, apricotine, acids (prussic?) then orange wine and some plywood, perhaps. Well, this is unusual indeed. With water: once again water sets the record straight. This is plain and pure Ben Nevis now, with even wee touches of lavender sweets and liquorice drops. Finish: long, with raisins, wonderfully salty and liquoricy. Comments: two drinks really need water, Pastis/ouzo, and this little Ben Nevis that likes to play with the taster. I would say water is just obligatory here, but good fun!
SGP:462 - 89 points.

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2019 (52.7%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #1479, 405 bottles)

Ben Nevis 23 yo 1996/2019 (52.7%, The Single Malts of Scotland, sherry butt, cask #1479, 405 bottles) Five stars
This one too by Elixir. Hold on, an elixir, isn’t that something that’s supposed to cure any disease? Would this one work with ‘the virus’? In truth I washed my hands using a sherry monster at 60% vol. the other day (not this Ben Nevis) and people in the train started to look at me as if I was Henry Charles Bukowski’s own son. Colour: gold. Nose: extremely similar. Perhaps a little more on all things cherries, and a little less on funny glues. With water: cherry cake, raisin roll, pancake syrup, and just a wee glass of amontillado. Mouth (neat): brilliant, just brilliant. Walnuts, grapefruits, fino, leaves, maraschino. With water: pre-WWII orange cordials and other heavy concoctions made when liquors were still supposed to cure us indeed. Finish: long, thick and yet very elegant, splendidly orange-y. Marmalade over some walnut cake with a good glass of amontillado on the side. Yes, pretty much heaven. Comments: liked both sister casks a lot. Let’s say this one’s more civilised and a tad less challenging. Better for your guests who wouldn’t be hardcore whisky buffs (but do we have any such friends?) Rather sublime whisky. Go go go.
SGP:452 - 90 points.

Back to the older officials, perhaps?

Ben Nevis 25 yo 1984/2010 (54%, OB, bourbon + sherry, casks #3008-3046, crystal decanter)

Ben Nevis 25 yo 1984/2010 (54%, OB, bourbon + sherry, casks #3008-3046, crystal decanter) Two stars and a half
This baby used to come with two wee tumblers. These sets are always wonderful, think Dalmore or Macallan, but the problem is that people would store them lying, which is absolutely no good. A bit stupid, really, unless no one’s intending to drink them. Psst, there’s Colorex inside the bottles anyway… But not in this case! Colour: amber. Nose: this is clearly Ben Nevis, with a lot of tobacco and walnuts, then orange liqueur and crushed chalk. Some lovely floral notes too, rose petals, orange blossom… With water: chalk, carbon paper, concrete (where they still using their concrete washbacks in 1984?) and the proprietary green walnuts. Mouth (neat): oh so funny! It’s really Ben Nevis from when Ben Nevis was at its craziest, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were still throwing dead animals into the mash tuns when this was distilled (are you really wondering if I was joking?) Eating pipe tobacco while drinking some kind of soapy liqueurs. I think BN upped their game since 1984 ;-). With water: a little better, but the soapiness would keep coming back. Not too sure, really… Finish: no. Dry, bitter, leafy, soapy and rubbery. There. And bell pepper. Comments: look, what would you expect from a crystal decanter? Who would still bottle supposedly great whiskies in suicidal crystal decanters today? You say… … … ?
SGP:361 - 78 points.

One more, just for the road…

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998/2019 (55.4%, Hidden Spirits, sherry, cask #BN9819, 279 bottles)

Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998/2019 (55.4%, Hidden Spirits, sherry, cask #BN9819, 279 bottles) Five stars
Do the 1998s match the 1996s? Let’s see… Colour: deep gold. Nose: meats this time, soy sauce, jamon iberico, glutamate, bouillons, a little leather and some tobacco, then damp plaster and drops of Thai sauce. Look, I know there are probably thousands of different Thai sauces, but there, the red ones that you would pour over any stewed crab claw. What’s the name again? With water: perfect dry nose, or when the cask and the distillate did complement each other to perfection. Blue Mountain coffee, crude cocoa, old walnuts (no one in particular, lol), palo cortado, whiffs of exhaust fumes, umami sauce..; Could be that BN and dry oxidative sherry would just tango to perfection when the proportions are right. Mouth (neat): simply further fortified oloroso. Or distilled oloroso? I shall try to do that one day, as sherry’s become so cheap (which is totally unjust and would make you lose faith in the drinking mankind). With water: the rarest chocolates, the best coffees, and some just perfect salty, umami-y brown sauces. Finish: long and much saltier, with a bit of Ben Nevis’s trademark ‘soft’ dirtiness. So not just vanilla-ed ethanol. Monosodium glutamate. Comments: the saltiness keeps growing even after the aftertaste. I would happily tell you more about this dram but both the wee bottle and the glass are now empty. *** carried away ***
SGP:462 - 91 points.

I’m starting to wonder if within the magical line (HP, Clynelish, Ben Nevis, Springbank), Ben Nevis isn’t the one that takes sherry the best. Pure speculation. To think that people keep buying junk from Wish or Kickstarter or Amazon or Facebook rather than those magical (if harder to find) vintages of Ben Nevis, it makes you feel so hopeless… sob…

More tasting notesCheck the index of all Ben Nevis we've tasted so far







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