I opened the Battlehill Ben Nevis 10 and Imperial 13 this evening. Please note these are my first impressions of newly opened bottles, so my judgment is subject to change.
Ben Nevis 10
Nose: Slightly off notes (musty/sour) initially, but these vanished quickly. Malty, metallic. Rather closed.
Palate: Very honeyed, white pepper. Doughy malt. A little metallic as with the nose. Some background vanilla and spice (cloves), but the honey and pepper really stand out.
Finish: Peppery, longish, and very warming - it had me sweating!
With water (~3 drops): The nose really opened up with fruity and floral scents. Unfortunately, some cardboard appeared on the palate, but also nice tobacco.
Comments: This has elements that remind me of Balvenie 15 SB, Talisker 175th, and Cragganmore 12 - almost like a vatting of the three, though not quite as good as any individually. I doubt this would be a standout for many people, but it has a flavor profile I really like. As the bottle opens up it could be really good, provided the initial off and metallic notes disappear, but if they become more prominent I will lose interest.
Nose: Ripe tropical fruits - melon or maybe papaya, coconut. Something earthy too that I can't pinpoint.
Palate: Flan! Nutmeg, oak, drying. Reminiscent of spiced mead or mulled wine.
Finish: Medium, spicy.
With water (~3 drops): Really brings earthiness to the nose. Old leather, woody incense. Didn't change the palate much.
Comments: Very tasty, creamy, rich and spicy.
The Imperial is probably a better dram, more balanced and without the flaws I got at first with the Ben Nevis, but tonight at least, I like the Ben Nevis a little more. It really suits my tastes.