Ben Nevis 1996 HL

Overall rating
89.47/100
votes
128
Whiskybase ID
WB144910
Category
Single Malt
Distillery
Bottler
Hunter Laing (HL)
Bottling serie
The Old Malt Cask
Vintage
10.1996
Bottled
10.2019
Stated Age
23 years old
Casktype
Refill Butt
Casknumber
HL 15973
Number of bottles
601
Strength
50.0 % Vol.
Size
700 ml
Added on
20 dec 2019 6:30 pm by Tauti
UncoloredNon-chillfilteredSingle Cask Whisky

Average value

€ 399.00

56 × in wishlist

128 × member ratings

218 × in collection

Whisky reviews for Ben Nevis 1996 HL

40 users have left 40 reviews for this whisky. Average rating is 89.47 points.

  1. DerDennis! scored this whisky 89 points Specialist

    Great nose! Nice interplay between spice, sweetness, fruit notes and tannins. To smell all the time.

    Unfortunately, I don't feel it as complex in the mouth as I hoped after smelling. Still a great mouthfeel and anything but boring.

    The finish is long and pleasant, almost too woody. Unfortunately, there is nothing left of the fruit notes and sweetness here.

    Overall a very neat Nevis.
    • Nose
      90 90
      very spicy, malt, herbs, beetroot, clove, chocolate, white pepper, nutty, furniture polish, prunes, iodine, tree resin, old kitchen cupboard, boiled and sweetened onions, grated lemon peel
    • Taste
      89 89
      oily, sweet, slightly peppery spiciness, licorice, prunes, tart-sweet honey, nutty, malt, becoming creamy, very slight bitterness, very pleasant, strong mint, apricots
    • Finish
      88 88
      long, slight sharpness on the tongue, subtle bitterness on the palate, oily mouthfeel, tannins, hardly any fruit left, herbs, unsweetened black tea, coffee beans

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  3. huangshantong scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    I'm really having a hard time, 1996 is such an outstanding vintage for BN, most of the bottlings are great, although I would say this one is familiar to other 96s I've had, nothing too special. However, still objectively speaking, its quality is very good.
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  4. JoshNRW scored this whisky 92 points Expert Senior

    A really great Ben Nevis. Total distillery character in perfect harmony and balance.
    Such a whisky can achieve a maximum of 92 points because the mouthfeel and the enjoyment are so great, but the surprise and special aromas are missing for more points. Reminds me of the Glenfarclas 26 (2022), where the Glenfarclas is a bit fruitier and sweeter, this one a bit spicier and nuttier. The mouthfeel and the taste of both whiskys make you kneel and close your eyes.

    I had about 6cl and if I can enjoy a whisky like that, then I'd rather drink the entire sample on the very evening when it tastes so good to me. It makes no sense to analyze 2cl three times here on three evenings.
    • Nose
      91 91
      91.5
      Pretty perfect Ben Nevis nose with hazelnuts, raisins, chocolate (Nutella cream) and plums.
      Relatively unspectacular and everything to be expected for the key data. But that should not be meant in a derogatory way, because a clean, harmonious Ben Nevis with 23 years and 50 percent is a dreamlike pleasure whisky.

      I could smell up to half a whisky bottle on this whisky forever.
    • Taste
      92 92
      The palate starts soft and full-bodied with nut cream, raisin syrup, soft and warm wood notes (subtle) and a wonderfully intense softness. The usual aromas of leather and old wooden cabinets are only hinted at.

      This is one of those whiskys that just gets tastier and better with every sip.
    • Finish
      92 92
      The mouthfeel is filling, oily and slightly creamy. The taste spreads long and intense. Wow. An intense and long finish without bitterness. Again no spectacle, but a lot of enjoyment.

  5. Polareye96 scored this whisky 91 points Member Senior

    Excellent, excellent.
    • Nose
      Caramelized custard pastry, lychees, dried longan, mango, ripe apples and apricots, waxy texture predicts fullness, with some soft spice, the smell of autumn haystacks is reminiscent of a blue sky.
    • Taste
      Sweet and graceful, full of aroma. Plump ripe fruit, yellow peach, mango, lemon zest, blended with chocolate aromas, a touch of spicy spice, tobacco, sweet wood, nutty oils.
    • Finish
      Long, oily, fruity, chocolate aroma and a light woody finish.

  6. saothangbay scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  7. Dris scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      91 91

  8. Jimbeau scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      88 88
      Fruit, honey, raisins
    • Taste
      89 89
      Vanilla, sugar, oak; soft, smooth and balanced
    • Finish
      88 88
      Medium plus, sweet sugar, tinkling and pleasant aftertaste

  9. zzqfyl scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  10. OlivierSegers scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      87 87

  11. MaltNerd scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    At first, the aroma is spicy to release sweet notes over time: candied orange peel and sherbet powder. It goes well with the scent of nut mass and toffee. It opens nicely over time, really cool thing.

    The taste is creamy and oily, here it feels like an older whisky (rancio). Nuts, roasted sunflower seeds, milk chocolate and a lot of orange peel. Sweet and juicy. Some bitterness appears with time .... Full-bodied charackter.

    The finish is chocolate-nutty to be dry after a while, spicy, woody with a huge amount of tannins that spoil the balance of this Ben Nevis. Without this disadvantage, I could have given it two points higher.

  12. EJS scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  13. vlad78 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Good refill PX profile and good balanced whisky.
    • Nose
      88 88
      Spices, a little varnish and leather, raisins, dried berries (strawberries, raspberries, prunes), dried cloves.
    • Taste
      89 89
      spices and sweetness of dried berries, a little taste of varnish, but the sweetness of dry dark berries prevails.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Sweet berry and varnish slightly sharp aftertaste, however, the sweetness of dried berries returns.

  14. zapfdaniel scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      87 87

  15. Rien scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  16. A.S. Bak scored this whisky 89 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      89 89

  17. hs305 scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    [December, 2020] A lot of nice Ben Nevis bottlings were released this (and last) year, most of them from the great 90ies vintages period so this is a good reason to have a Ben Nevis shortly before this otherwise disastrous year ends...

    ...and this 1996 vintage proves the excellent quality Ben Nevis produced during the nineties. The spirit teamed up greatly with the PX cask during maturation and they created a delicious and harmonic profile this way. Very quaffable, like almost all 90ies Ben Nevis releases.
    • Nose
      90 90
      The colour is amber and the nose offers a lush and flawless Ben 'Nevis profile with the best both malt and sherry casks can offer in a harmonic setting. The PX is not dominating and neither is the wood so the Nevis spirit can contribute all its fab aromas to this profile, namely lush fruits, honeys, waxes, oils and more. It is a pleasure to sniff this nose (use a big spherical blender's glass to catch all aromas) while exploring all of its secrets. After some breathing the aromas combine even better to each other creating a truly old-style impression this way, adding some grassy-autumn floral notes too.
    • Taste
      89 89
      The taste is very sweet both on barley sugars and the PX winey flavours and this impression is boosted by the fruits and honeys. But it never gets too sweet as the quickly the waxes, tannins and leathery flavours jump in. It is not really layered but it is very delicious and interesting to explore, and if you are not in the mood of explorations - it is very quaffable without, too. No flaw that I can find, all is balanced with a slight tendency to the sweet side of the dram (which is better than the other way, according to my taste buds).
    • Finish
      89 89
      The initial mouthfeel is warming and instantly coating without distracting moments, just the way it should be. The finish is long, accordingly and adds more notes of milk chocolate which were not as strong with the taste. They nicely team up with the slightly stronger woods towards the end creating a lasting impression before the dram vanishes. Some water releases (even) more aromas in the nose and turns the taste smoother and even a bigger reduction does no harm to this dram. I like to explore it neat first and then it is fun to experiment a little with different reduction levels.

  18. GIORGOS scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      89 89
    • Finish
      88 88

  19. S_S scored this whisky 88 points Member Senior

    In the nose a hint of rock sugar, muesli, woody, orange, elderflower, shortly after uncovering vanilla notes, 5cl bottle was on the shelf for six months, nose has grown significantly.

    Slightly sweet, nutty, creamy in the mouth, slight bitterness.

    Finish tart, dry, wood.

    Not a high flyer! A malt alternative!
    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      88 88

  20. Mark-E scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  21. DoctorRockter scored this whisky 91 points Expert Junior

    Great whisky, initially alcoholic smell, after a few minutes it releases hints of vanilla, caramel, toffee, toffee and milk candies. On the palate still vanilla, biscuit, caramel, crunch and cheeskake, hazelnut, peaches in syrup. With water it becomes more herbaceous, citrus and candied orange. Very waxy and oily, reminiscent of a clynelish in delicate sherry. Great whisky

  22. Malzbrenner scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    In the glass is a 23 year old Ben Nevis from The Old Malt Cask range by Hunter Laing, bottled with 50% vol. And distilled in 1996. The color is in the range of dark gold.
    • Nose
      90 90
      At the beginning and without adding water, I cautiously notice ripe fruit, some wet leaves and the smell of a carpenter's shop. Dried apricots, ripe strawberries, ripe watermelon, raspberry jam, damp tobacco, some sandalwood. I would also want to join the elderflower. Undiluted and after a very long time in the glass, I see it at 90 points.
      After adding water, the character doesn't change that much; the fruit notes tend to decline.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Reduced with water, initially fruity, sweet and oily on the palate, but also with a pinch of white pepper and great spice. Oak aromas, herbs, dark fruit. A very nice combination of flavors, which are particularly supported by dried apricots, moist shisha tobacco and a little mint. A very vibrant whisky that is fun to prepare in the glass, but should be a little more balanced on the palate. Complaints at a high level.
    • Finish
      89 89
      Medium-length finish with nice fruit flavors, pleasant sweetness and great spice to keep the whisky in great memory.

  23. WSP scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  24. WhiskyCasual scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Incredibly creamy mouthfeel. One of Ben Nevis' better refill butt bottlings
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  25. OJK scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    Quite a clean sherried Ben Nevis, with plenty of fruit and eucalyptus, floral wax and furniture polish, and a nice hint of mocha. Not as much of the oily dirt as to be found in some other 90's sherried BN.

  26. nallacam scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      89 89

  27. JacobaEd scored this whisky 86 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      86 86
    • Taste
      87 87
    • Finish
      86 86

  28. KayMeertens scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
      Peach, vanilla, raspberry, hazelnut and apple. With water some coconut.
    • Taste
      89 89
      Peach, vanilla, hazelnut, banana and coconut.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Almond, vanilla, apple and gooseberry.

  29. Baanaanaabob scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    Nice one but the sherry kind of hides the distillate character

  30. Jackson05 scored this whisky 88 points Connoisseur

    My grocery list looks like this;

    Milk
    Bread
    ‘96 Nevis

    If you’re a whisky fan and not on the Ben Nevis train you need to re-evaluate your priorities. Old school whisky thanks to its use of brewers yeast, Colin Ross ran a tight ship, Japan appreciates (and needs) it’s quality for their blends. I really believe we will look back at 90s distillate and Ben Nevis will be to 90s distillate, what bowmore was to 60s distillate. I’m not saying 96 Nevis is equal to 60s bowmore, but in comparison to what is put out by other distillers in the 90s, it is. Remember, Japan tried to take out brewers yeast from Ben Nevis and the results were obviously negative, so they went back to the lower yielding formula, to produce quality. A reminder that the only difference of 60s distillate and what we have today is; yield. Hopefully the distilleries like Chichibu, Waterford, Daftmill and Bimber put pressure on the industry to go back to quality over quantity.

    Ok rant over. I saw someone say they felt this was oloroso, but I disagree, it seems more like PX in its sweetness. Thick and syrupy. The wood influence is obvious, but just stopping short of too much. Loads of milk chocolate, dried strawberries, purple grapes, only faintly waxy. Shoe polish, varnish, oil paint. The late palate and into the finish the fruits come out. Mango, lychee, milk chocolate, black tea, polish. I feel just a touch too sweet for me personally, and maybe a little too much oak. Overall it falls into the middle of all these 96 Nevis (great). Worth a pickup for sure.

  31. P.A.O.K.you_are scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      88 88
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      88 88

  32. Ptahr scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    A really good Ben Nevis for me. The nose alone is fantastic. But this takes time and a little water. But I also really like the taste and finish. For the originally called up EIA, there is almost no better.
    • Nose
      92 92
      Elderflowers, oranges, strawberries, caramel, herbs, pepper, chocolate
    • Taste
      90 90
      Elderflower syrup, peach, chocolate, prune
    • Finish
      89 89
      slightly bitter, black tea, slightly peach, orange peel

  33. Steven79 scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      90 90

  34. WantsWhisky scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      92 92

  35. Flou scored this whisky 90 points Expert Junior

    A Ben Nevis with 23 years of maturation, a wonderful 50% alcohol content and over 90 points in the base ... that should be more than enough reason to taste this whisky.

    In the nose, the Ben Nevis is initially somewhat closed and the alcohol gets through too much. If you let it breathe for 20 minutes, it opens and reveals juicy notes of peach and apricot, red apples and elderflower. The fruitiness is perfectly integrated into a waxy structure that gives the Ben Nevis a creamy texture on the nose. A little caramel and a hint of cinnamon are gently incorporated. Cloves, some pepper and meadow herbs gradually become stronger, chocolate is noticeable and hints of leather, furniture polish and earthy aromas make for great complexity. Citrus notes are becoming more and more dominant, displacing the other fruit flavors to the rear. A nice development that Ben Nevis is making, smelling is really fun.

    In the mouth there is an incredibly intense peach note that I have never had with a whisky. Really juicy peaches that fill the whole mouth with their juice. Plus some passion fruit, just wonderful! Then the spiciness comes and tears me out of my peach dream. But not in an unpleasant way! Pepper provides a pleasant sharpness that is not too intrusive. The spiciness goes great with the fruitiness, the peach notes still swing in the background and free up space for the tougher play partners such as tobacco, leather and old wooden furniture.

    The finish is then in the hand of the spicy and bitter notes. In the background, the peach is only discreetly noticeable, but maybe it is also the thoughts in your head that remember this experience. Tobacco, leather, old wooden furniture, a pleasant earthiness, an aftertaste like bitter teas ... the finish goes in this direction for me. Too bad that these wonderful fruit notes have only left their footprints without being present themselves.

    What can I say? A great whisky! The nose got off to a great start, the fruity start in the mouth with hints of exotic fruits was my highlight, the spiciness that followed solidified in the finish, which was a little too one-sided for me.

    Overall, the Ben Nevis gets 90/100 points from me ... I would definitely like more of that than just a sample.
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      91 91
    • Finish
      88 88

  36. Hvdree scored this whisky 90 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      90 90

  37. Northern&Isles scored this whisky 98 points Expert Senior

    Typical Ben Nevis and extremely tasty.
    Fruity, with a lot of Oloroso Sherry.
    Dry and sweet, full-bodied and heavy, massive, beeswax, vanilla, wood and oak.
    Increasingly dry and spicy.
    Long finish.
    Outstanding.

  38. GIngi scored this whisky 91 points Expert Senior

    Whisky with great value for money!
    • Nose
      90 90
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      89 89

  39. Totoro scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    • Nose
      90 90
      Immediately after pouring in, the alcohol stings a little, but it evaporates quite quickly, and then it gets really nice: woody, comfortably warm, indeed with the elderflowers ascertained by colleague LDB as well as milk chocolate and wonderful, wax-like, aging-like aromas. Fruity-herbal-greasy, as you would like your Nevis to be, unexpectedly creamy and well balanced between sweet and tart. Direct hit!
    • Taste
      89 89
      Tartly fresh on the start, with a slight tingling / sizzling and a taste development that runs like time lapse: hey, whoa, what was that - and why is it over? Wood, fruit, and spice alternate in no time at all and hiss past the senses. In addition to really nice "dark" roasted aromas, the highlight is a rich peach fruitiness, which immediately swallows up the esophagus and explodes on the palate. You don't have that every day.
      The nose did not need mM for water, but only time or air, but a few drops on the palate are really good for it: the whole thing is a little more relaxed and less defined and better defined.
      Although not a total high-flyer (especially the mouthfeel could be thicker and denser) and not quite as noble / old in character as the nose gave hope for, but still a very, very nice Refill-Nevis, which you can sip away with as much pleasure as analytically can disassemble its individual parts - depending on your mood.
    • Finish
      88 88
      Tart dry, warming, with lots of wood and the associated roasted and spicy notes. Every now and then a little bit of sweet and sour fruitiness and nice set refill sherry notes flash through. It fits.

  40. mr_braun scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      87 87
    • Taste
      88 88
    • Finish
      86 86

  41. LDB scored this whisky 89 points Connoisseur

    Needs warmth, water (1-3 drops) and wants to have a while, then it is more than a "good thing". Nevis does not deny its origins without further ado, but it is fine and gets better and better as you enjoy it.
    • Nose
      88 88
      (undiluted) quite robust polish and glue notes
      (with water) it later opens up nicely with beeswax, juicy dried apricots and notes of butterscotch.
    • Taste
      89 89
      (undiluted) pepper and elderflower! Since there wasn't much else, I grabbed a few drops of H2O, and lo and behold, after 20 minutes of standing, the madness Nevis DNA unfolds very pointedly, beguiling with homemade butter caramel, which is always infused with delicious elderflower aromas. And the wood knocks finely, this is a mature carpenter, not a crude apprentice.
    • Finish
      90 90
      (undiluted) dries up fairly quickly.
      With water and time: freshly waxed oak planks and lemon peel in the Christmas stollen first, before the elderberry notes are played around with the delicate wood tones for a long, intense and sweet-fruity way. Mnjam, I could chew forever, yummy!

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