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Whisky Reviews for Ben Nevis 1997 W-F
12 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 90.77 points
- Very good pick by Jens. Congratulation to that cask :)
- [October, 2020] Someone asked me to do a review on this high-scored new edition and luckily I was able to get one of these bottles, finally. To be honest, 180 Euro for a 23-years old from a second-tier distillery are quite a hell of bucks - fifteen years ago this was the price point of a 35+years old Bowmore (distilled in the sixties) or a 25+years old Ardbeg (distilled in the early seventies). But the overall score of this Ben Nevis is close to these legendary drams too, so I am very curious if my taste buds agree...
...and they acknowledge a fine but do not state an exceptional dram. This is flawless and very quaffable but the same time it lacks both complexity and depth (e.g., layers, waves) to be truly outstanding. Given the limited supply of casks to IBs these days it was a great pick by Jens and the price is adequate compared to other recent releases but to be honest: I would not spend more than 120 Euro on such a drinking experience even today. Nevertheless I do not regret to buy this bottle because I really enjoy to quaff it when I am not in the mood to dig very deep into a whisky's profile.
The colour is jonquiripe corn and the nose offers a delicious fruity profile, mainly of home-grown fruits like apples, pears or peaches. There are a lot more of other aromas like waxes, spices, sugars, floral impressions and a certain sourness which I like. This nose is very enjoyable, no doubt but it is by no means on eye-level to these old Bowmore stuff mentioned above (which trades well above 1000 bucks these days, unfortunately). By the way, I prefer to nose this dram out of a Glencairn glass instead of a big spherical blender's glass (usually it is the other way around). Breathing does no favour to this dram so I suggest to investigate this nose right away after serving it.
The taste adds an interesting flavour of white chocolate to the profile of the nose which is nicely countered by some bitter notes from the wood (tannins as well as green tea-alike impressions). This taste is not layered but greatly balanced and without any flaw. Nevertheless I recommend to chew it for a while because more impressions are released this way. Among them are nutty, oily and grassy notes.
The dram arrives warming and coating on the palate with some peppery moments which are not distracting. The finish is of medium length and adds more barley sugars and spices. They do not enhance the profile further but they are enjoyable nonetheless. No bitter or drying moments, again. Water releases more fruits in the nose (now some exotic join in) and turns the taste sweeter with more honeys and sugars and less bitter notes. Actually, this dram benefits greatly from a slight reduction and I like it best at around 40-43% abv (I score the neat dram one point less).
- Pretty much everything is right: Great barrel, great distillate, correct age, correct alcohol strength. Crystal clear distillery character. Please return such bottlings more often, bravo!
- A great Ben Nevis, lacking the dirty/meaty side that it often gets when matured in sherry casks but offering a complex nose with wax, motor oil and a pine forest. The palate is thick and oily and adds just enough oak to enhance the whole. The finish is warm, complex and lingers for a long time.
This was bottled at the perfect the age and strength. Highly recommended if you like old highland style whiskies.
- Wax jacket, grease, honey on bread, white peaches and cream, and herbal sweets (ricola) on the nose, with even a soft hint of smoke. On the palate it's unctuous, oily and bready, carrying through the cream and peaches, with added nuts and orange syrup, as well as almond nougat. Smooth and voluminous finish, building with liquorice, citrus boiled sweets and white chocolate . An especially warm and enveloping example of the 90's Ben Nevis profile. Score wavering between 91-92, but I'll err on the side of restraint..
- A beautifully matured Ben Nevis, one of the best few I've had in my glass so far. Everything is nicely balanced and pleasant to drink. In terms of price, however, it is not particularly good enough for it to be worth a large bottle to me.
very fruity; bright fruits; Pears; Apples; some peach; subtle buttery-sweet note of shortbread; Sugar; in addition nice spicy notes; delicate fresh wood notes
slightly oily; delicate light fruits; Chocolate notes (white chocolate); slightly nutty notes; a touch of shortbread; pleasant, slightly bitter wood notes emerge; everything nicely balanced
peppery-spicy and warming; delicate yellow sweet fruit notes; pleasantly subtle bitter-tart wood notes