Nose: instead of the waxy and tropical 1996’s that we’ve come to love, this one starts mashy, even a tad rubbery. Hints of yoghurt and gravel. Lemons, green apples and grapefruits make it brighter after a while. Back to dough and herbal notes. There are flashes of pineapple and peach as well, but they never really come to the fore.
Mouth: fruitier now, showing unripe nectarines, grapefruits and green banana, but still not the fruit bomb we were hoping for. The fruits are overtaken by grassy notes and oak spice (mainly ginger and white pepper), walnuts and citrus peel. Plenty of herbs again.
Finish: medium, with pepper, citrus peels as well as some floral notes.
We may only remember the highflyers, but in reality we’ve had very different scores for seemingly similar casks of Ben Nevis 1996. They weren’t all convincing. This one is not a bad dram but it suffers from comparison.