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Ben Nevis - a partial view

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Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby bernstein » Tue Jun 27, 2006 4:24 pm

As I posted back in April – I had the chance to taste the Ben Nevis OB 10yo for the first time - and I was overwhelmed.
bernstein wrote: Strong and oily, almonds, leather, old books, coconuts, sweet fir-honey. This stuff is just perfect for me!

Now – I tried to find some more expressions of this particular distillery to get a more in-depth view of their products. I cracked them open over last couple of days and started a vertical tasting – it’s been a pleasure, I tell you :D ! Quite a lot of you forumers (Lawrence, NickBrown, hpulley, crieftan, parvus, lbacha et al.) gave voice to favourable reviews of Ben Nevis bottlings (there was a thread on the new OB Port finish just a few weeks ago around here). What should I say, all in all - it made me curious.

This is, what I got so far:

Ben Nevis OB 10yo 46%
Yummy allium and pleasant smoke. Very malty and spicy (see above). A malt that doesn’t look out for compromises - very idiosyncratic. There is a slightly stinging element in it, as characteric as a fingerprint. I couldn’t detect coffee, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. For some time now I’m looking for a a suitable description - and now I think I found it: it's like rhubarb in a glass!

Ben Nevis OB 1992 (bottled 2005) #2614 632 b.13yo 46%
Now this is something special: it reminded very much of Mortlach F6F 16yo or even more of the old Macallan 18yo. Sweet’n strong’n spicy. Indian Curry, it even has this particular characteristical fingerprint (“allium and smoke”), slightly bitter, vegetable-like, however in marvelous harmony with the other portions. A genuine discovery. Very, very yummy!

Ben Nevis OB (1990-2004) Port Finish 800b. 13yo 61,6%
The colour is indeed sensational (or debatable :wink: - JM says “Beaujolais”, it rather remembers me of German red wines of the Ahr, but nevermind...). Very tasty and exotic - a real cracker! Will get into this one more deeply over next weeks.

Ben Nevis OB (1973-1999) #355&356 400b. 26yo 50,8%
At the beginning somewhat volatile, transparent and fine. The obvious oak is well integrated, more like an oriental veil, covering but not coating – the pleasures are all there! “Burnt oranges”, this is what NickBrown said about it recently, and this is spot on! There is a certain marvellous medical sharpness in it. Last year I sampled a Glenfarclas 15yo (which I didn’t like particularly). It had some off-putting overtones which seemed to me unbalanced and stinging.
Here I find something quite similar, but this time those overtones fit in perfectly! One week after opening it’s substantially rounder, more of an elegant late-night dram, dusty and dry – but simultaneously sweet as overripe grapes. The cask strength is hardly to be noticed. A dream!

Ben Nevis IB Cadenhead''s 1990-2005 720b. 14yo 46%
Bright gold - after two weeks now a special sweet note steps forward. Gentle smoke and barley. A flowering rose garden – and lots of oranges in the nose, many, very ripe oranges, it tastes like patacones con guacamole (bananas and avocado). And this savoury rhubarb appears here as well.

Ben Nevis IB Cadenhead''s 1990-2004 13yo 46%

Quite similar to the 14yo. Is it possible that this is even more fruity? Delicious.

Ben Nevis IB Murray McDavid 1999-2005 Bourbon/Port 6yo 46%
What a surprise – despite its young age, it’s fully developed, balanced, deliciously sweet and tasty. A marvellous (and relatively inexpensive) malt.



What are your experiences with Ben Nevis? Any corrections or similar experiences? Broad my partial view, please! I'm looking forward to your views!
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Postby Deactivated Member » Tue Jun 27, 2006 5:22 pm

Welcome to the world of Ben Nevis. I do like their whisky. :)

Word from the wise, though - if you ever visit the distillery, buy your whisky first as they're liable to sell the bottles you want whilst you're on the tour. And don't go if you are of a religious persuasion, as their film (featuring Hector McDram) is blasphemous. And don't go if you know anything about whisky, as the ill informed guide will just irritate you. And if you don't like looking at the back of a bus whilst travelling at 20mph, don't go to Fort William at all. :evil:

Sorry if the irritation shows through. Still, I had satisfaction when I reported their illegal smoking shelter to the smoking police. :twisted:
Last edited by Deactivated Member on Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby bernstein » Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:00 pm

Nick Brown wrote:Word from the wise, though...
:lol:
"Wise men say only fools rush in
but I can't help falling in love..."
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Postby Wendy » Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:59 am

Hi Bernie:
I appreciate your Ben Nevis notes. I have never tried a bottling of Ben Nevis before, but hearing your positive tasting notes over the past number of months has piqued my interest.

From your list, if I had a choice, the first two I would like to try would be: Ben Nevis IB Cadenhead''s 1990-2005 720b. 14yo 46% and the Ben Nevis OB (1990-2004) Port Finish 800b. 13yo 61,6%.

Is there one over the other bottling in your list that would be described as the most "characteristic" of Ben Nevis?

I hope you are doing well,
Wendy
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:45 am

I've had the 10, the 26 (an older version) and the MMcD bottling and really liked them all.

Actually we have ordered this last Ben Nevis from MMcD as the whisky for the Victoria Single Malt Club 10th Anniversary bottling and MMcD have done up a speical label for us for a mere 132 bottles.

Customer service at it's best.
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Postby bamber » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:55 am

I'm always harping on about this, but the Ben Nevis 40yo 'blended at birth', was possibly the best whisky I tried at Whisky Live (London) this year.
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Postby Lawrence » Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:44 pm

I almost bought a bottle of the blended at birth whisky at the distillery but changed my mind at the last moment........ :roll:
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Postby bamber » Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:15 pm

Lawrence wrote:I almost bought a bottle of the blended at birth whisky at the distillery but changed my mind at the last moment........ :roll:


I'm flirting with the idea of getting a bottle. Good price for 40yo, whisky that I know I'll enjoy every drop of.
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Postby bernstein » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:07 pm

Wendy wrote:Is there one over the other bottling in your list that would be described as the most "characteristic" of Ben Nevis?

I hope you are doing well,
Wendy

Hi Wendy,
thank you, yes, I'm doing well - summer's finally here, lots of work in garden to do, son is growing up in a breathtaking manner... :wink:

Talking about Ben Nevis - I think you should try to get hold of a bottle of the OB 10yo - it has it all, and this fingerprint thing comes out pretty well. I've found traces of it in each of the other bottlings yet. In my book it's indeed quite "characteristic".
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Postby bernstein » Wed Jun 28, 2006 5:25 pm

bamber wrote:
Lawrence wrote:I almost bought a bottle of the blended at birth whisky at the distillery but changed my mind at the last moment........ :roll:


I'm flirting with the idea of getting a bottle. Good price for 40yo, whisky that I know I'll enjoy every drop of.

LFW has it for £132.50 incl. VAT. One of these days, one of these days...
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Postby The Dazzler » Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:00 pm

managed to have a wee dram of the Ben Nevis 40yo blend which I thought was a very light and a very drinkable whisky. It was grassy on the nose, fresh, leafy and malty on the pallate and had a sweet delicate finish with a hint of liquorice. Seemed to me quite lowlandish, a cross between a Glenkinchie and a Bladnoch perhaps, and quite vibrant for its 40 years. Definately a decent price for a 40yo whisky.

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Postby Elliot » Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:46 am

I very much liked the 9 y/o Ben Nevis that WG bottled for The Party Source in Bellevue, KY. It was very impressive for only a 9 y/o and I very much appreciated the bourbon cask bottling. I'm not sure if a similar bottling is available elsewhere.
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Postby Deactivated Member » Thu Jun 29, 2006 12:50 pm

I have finally sourced a bottle of 13yo - the stuff they sold at the distillery whilst they made me watch Hector McDram. It only cost £10 more than I would have had to pay at the distillery. :evil:

Hopefully it will be worth the anger and frustration it took to obtain.
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Postby bernstein » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:25 pm

Nick Brown wrote:I have finally sourced a bottle of 13yo - the stuff they sold at the distillery whilst they made me watch Hector McDram. It only cost £10 more than I would have had to pay at the distillery. :evil:
Hopefully it will be worth the anger and frustration it took to obtain.

I’m usually quite sceptical as far as finishings are concerned. But this one is something extraordinary (BTW – does an extra year in a Port pipe qualify as “finish”, or is it “double-matured?”).
I hope you'll like it, Nick. You were spitting feathers enough lately…
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Postby Deactivated Member » Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:51 pm

I tried the 13yo port wood yesterday. It really is sensational. The nose is jammy and fruity - and the colour is rose wine. The flavour is like 1970s cherryade - so sweet and fruity (there might even be rosehip tea!), but with a touch of mint in the background. Then there are waves of malted barley like heavily sugared weetabix, but slightly more toasty. There is a hint of apple and grape somewhere in the mix, too. The finish is very long - malty and vanilla with a touch of red furits - raspberry, redcurrant, rosehip sort of thing.

This is the first port wood whisky where the port wood diodn't taste like a bolt-on. It was integrated naturally and added depth, but whilst allowing the barley to come through. The finish was the very epitome of malt whisky - not trying to be anything fancy, just doing a long and complex barley finish very well indeed. I'd stick my neck out and say that, for me, this must be up there as one of my all time favourite whiskies.
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Postby Di Blasi » Thu Aug 24, 2006 2:35 am

bamber wrote:
Lawrence wrote:I almost bought a bottle of the blended at birth whisky at the distillery but changed my mind at the last moment........ :roll:


I'm flirting with the idea of getting a bottle. Good price for 40yo, whisky that I know I'll enjoy every drop of.


How about the Ben Nevis 1970 from Adelphi? Same idea as the 40y "Dew of..." Anyone taste it? I've been curious about this one for some time. And it's my birth year so it makes me a bit sentimental too.
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Postby jimidrammer » Fri Aug 25, 2006 2:59 am

I remember seeing a Cadenhead's Ben Nevis '86-'01 and a 32yo Old Malt Cask, but have yet to run across the 10yo OB. Should I go for the younger or the older? How does their profile change at 30+?
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby ResIpsa539 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:11 pm

I just had the Ben Nevis OB 10 for the first time a couple of weeks ago and this may be my new favorite. Huge "maltiness" and plenty of fruit (bananas?) on the pallate. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to get my hands on a bottle and I can't find a place in the US.

Anyone know where I can score a bottle of this in the US (and that ships out)?
THANKS!
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby r900p » Thu Jan 24, 2008 2:54 pm

Never tried BN, the amount of times i've been to Fort William its a shame i never got to the distillery, so all in all this is good stuff and well worth a visit from what i've just read.

Rob
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Wave » Thu Jan 24, 2008 4:09 pm

I've been to the Ben Nevis distillery in Fort William. Their tour is decent, but would probably be a bit better if it wasn't for their cheesy presentation movie. It's a good malt, I like the 10yo and I've heard good reviews of their older malts. Unfortunately Ben Nevis isn't shipped over to our side of the pond and even Indies are few and far between. In fact these are the only places in the US I found any Ben Nevis!

Binny's
Murray-McDavid Ben Nevis 1999-6yr Old Port Finish $34.99
(I've heard this one is good!)
Signatory Ben Nevis 1975-31yr Old Cask Strength $239.99
Whisky Galore Ben Nevis 1996-9yr Old $36.99

D&M Wines & Liquors
Ben Nevis 16 Year Old "The NC2 Range" Duncan Taylor $104.99
Ben Nevis 31 Year Old 1975, Signatory Bottling $249.99

Image
The Ben Nevis distillery in Fort William


Cheers!
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby ResIpsa539 » Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:01 pm

I was told that as of September, there were no importers bringing it to the states. I used to get it out of Rhode Island...
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby mattbuty » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:06 pm

Ecxellent thread :thumbsup:

Not tried Ben Nevis, and you have got me very inspired...Alway nice to see a thread that doesn't discuss the major malts
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby woodhill » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:30 pm

Wave wrote:I've been to the Ben Nevis distillery in Fort William. Their tour is decent, but would probably be a bit better if it wasn't for their cheesy presentation movie. It's a good malt, I like the 10yo and I've heard good reviews of their older malts. Unfortunately Ben Nevis isn't shipped over to our side of the pond and even Indies are few and far between. In fact these are the only places in the US I found any Ben Nevis!

Binny's
Murray-McDavid Ben Nevis 1999-6yr Old Port Finish $34.99
(I've heard this one is good!)
Signatory Ben Nevis 1975-31yr Old Cask Strength $239.99
Whisky Galore Ben Nevis 1996-9yr Old $36.99

D&M Wines & Liquors
Ben Nevis 16 Year Old "The NC2 Range" Duncan Taylor $104.99
Ben Nevis 31 Year Old 1975, Signatory Bottling $249.99

Image
The Ben Nevis distillery in Fort William


Cheers!


They have a lot of Barrels in the garden, is that cheaper then a warehouse? :)

Do you reckon they would send me one for a SuperDuper 600 Litre home vatting experiment.
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby lincoln imp » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:46 pm

I have a cask srtrength Ben Nevis 56% 1995 at the moment. It is a little different to what i normally drink but it was a reasonably pleasurable experience. Ben Nevis is good if you like the taste of chocolate? :?
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby BruceCrichton » Tue Jan 29, 2008 2:42 am

Go to http://www.adelphidistillery.com and look up their Ben Nevis 'Single blend'.
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Deactivated Member » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:37 pm

There is a new OB expression from Ben Nevis, a 1992 sherry cask matured 14yo bottled at 46%. See here http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com/product.asp?pf_id=0010000036145

In the old days the 26yo single cask Ben Nevis's used to have amongst them truly beautiful whiskies, so I am hoping that this new expression continues the success. What I liked about Ben Nevis was its sweet, strawberry-like flavours that flowed down ever so easily. Amazing whisky.
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Lawrence » Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:13 pm

M.R.J. wrote:There is a new OB expression from Ben Nevis, a 1992 sherry cask matured 14yo bottled at 46%. See here http://www.royalmilewhiskies.com/product.asp?pf_id=0010000036145

In the old days the 26yo single cask Ben Nevis's used to have amongst them truly beautiful whiskies, so I am hoping that this new expression continues the success. What I liked about Ben Nevis was its sweet, strawberry-like flavours that flowed down ever so easily. Amazing whisky.


I bought two! It's nice to see new expressions of Ben Nevis.
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby ResIpsa539 » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:59 pm

Has anyone seen any OB Ben Nevis' in the USA of late? I haven't for a good 8 months or so.
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby r900p » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:51 pm

I have a 14 open which i'm going through far too quick, whih is the 13 everyone is looking out for?

Think i should try and get one of these for comparison.

Cheers,

Rob
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Gilles Deleuze » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:49 pm

r900p wrote:I have a 14 open which i'm going through far too quick, whih is the 13 everyone is looking out for?

Think i should try and get one of these for comparison.

Cheers,

Rob


Rob, is this the 1992 14 year old at 46%? I've yet to find any real notes for it, but I am curious about it. Any thoughts or notes, besides its quick disappearance? :wink:
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby r900p » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:16 pm

Gilles,

Your correct thats the one at 46% I'm afraid i won't be able to offer much in the way of notes. As i'm useless at that. All i can say ii love Islays, but this really has dragged me away from them and i will have all the intention to got out and buy another either the same bottling or whatever new release is about when i have finished this one.

I think Les has this open so he may be able to offer notes.

Anyone have notes?

Rob
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby les taylor » Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:35 pm

Not opened mine yet. Probably Lawrence has.

Came across these notes from a man who would know. Richard Joynson


Rich and round with elements of well ripened fruit, some potato-starch, sherry-sulphur and old wax polish. This is an all-energising, west-highland, sherry-wood dram with a fantastic, if short, finish. Conclusion; a great sherry style dram, but better still, not too much sherry!
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby laphroaig10_65 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:21 pm

These days I am finishing a very good bottle of Ben Nevis:

Ben Nevis 16 yo 1990-2007 "Cadenhead's Authentic Collection" 66%
(butt, non-chillfiltered, natural colour)
Colour: gold
Nose: complex, sweet, floral, vanilla, lemon bark, grains, roasted corn, melon, baked apple, almond buff, malt biscuit, hazelnut ice-cream, hints of honey, raisin, and ricotta cake.
Body: medium
Taste: sweet, honey, melon, lemon bark, almond, notes of racket and basil, hints of smoke.
Final: long, sweet liquorice root, mint, slightly spicy.
Comments: the intensity of flavours depends on the dilution. In my opinion the best water/whisky ratio is ¼ (1/2 for my wife).

Bye
Luca
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Gilles Deleuze » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:52 pm

Thanks to Rob, Les and Luca for impressions and the review. This sounds like something I'll have to get into. :D
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Re: Ben Nevis - a partial view

Postby Charlie » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:29 pm

I had two bottles of the 13 yo Port Wood Finish. One has sadly gone, and I'm reluctant to open the other, because it is so hard to replace. This stuff is in a league of its own, and I am going to have to pace myself with last bottle.

I will be devastated when its gone!

I've got a bottle of 10 yo too which is very nice. I must try some of the others, but my fear is nothing will compare to the 13yo.
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