When I first read the announcement that The Whisky Jury would launch a new Ben Nevis 1996, I thought it was a mistake. I had just tried two Ben Nevis from that Belgian bottler. Both his 23 years old from 1995 as his 23 years old from 1996 were great, but apparently Joeri was not yet done with Ben Nevis. Indeed, it was not a mistake, but a third Ben Nevis release and like it’s predecessor a refill hogshead from 1996. You can imagine that my expectations were high!
Yes, that nose is bull’s eye again. Nicely waxy on apricots and pineapple, green banana and almond paste. Silver polish. A touch candy-like, like its siblings, but slightly less mineral and slightly more herbal. Without a doubt an outstanding nose!
On the palate, it is candy like sweet (Superman logos, quite appropriately) and softly seasoned with pepper. Wonderful agrums and papaya with hints of pineapple. Goes the tropical route, which fits in perfectly with the season. Some pebbles on the beach and a wonderful bitterness from the wood. Perfect balance and great strength. Add water? What, you think I’m nuts?
The finish is cozily warm on pepper, bittersweet as if from grapefruit and lime.
That’s how you score a trifecta. Better yet: this is the best of the three. But you’ve guessed it: the bottles were spoken for before they even hit the shelves. Classy malt!