Ben Nevis McDonald's Traditional

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Single Malt
Distillery Bottling
46.0 % Vol.
700 ml
Added on
27 Jan 2012 10:13 pm

Average value

€ 125.07

28 × in wishlist

582 × member ratings

1086 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Ben Nevis McDonald's Traditional

63 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 85.70 points

  1. didi1893 scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    For a Ben Nevis this Traditional is amazingly smoky and peaty, so smoky or peaty I did not remember Ben Nevis. Otherwise, the earthy, musty peat flavors harmonize very well with the subtle smoky notes and the partially present fruity sweetness. Still peaty smoke and creamy woody notes stick to the palate, subtle sharpness envelops the tongue, it seems as if the aftertaste never end. Although this Ben Nevis is sometimes relatively thin, it often shows its voluminous and powerful side, I like it well.
    • Nose
      Wonderfully shiny amber radiates from the Premium Snifter, oily drops drift along the glass wall. In the first nosing slightly Sprittiger alcohol stands out, slowly slightly musty roasted aromas appear. Dark raisins and apricots in rum appear for a brief moment, then velvety vineyard peach dominates in combination with slightly dirty peat. Here and there are smoky elements, the initial fruitiness is lost in dark earth tones. Abrasion of orange peel flashes, sweet fruit notes rise from the dark and peaty soil, hints of slightly burnt wood and dried walnuts follow. Slightly acidic fruit components stand out, they could be citrus fruits.
    • Taste
      Peaty and earthy, the Ben Nevis spreads on the first sip on the palate. White pepper creates a subtle sharpness on the tongue, dark and spicy wood tones combine with slightly musty and earthy moder. The initially very subtle smoke aroma becomes more intense and dominant, old walnuts fall into freshly squeezed lemon juice, creamy and soft spicy wood tones spread on the tongue. Sant and soft the second sip flows over the tongue, sweetness and fruit play together before decent sharpness spreads on the tongue again. Chubby warmth floods the entire mouth area, here and there the alcohol shows its powerful side. Chubby warm with tart earth and wood tones, the taste slowly turns into the aftertaste.
    • Finish
      While the heat slowly fades away, a small pinch of pepper settles over the tongue, spicy and slightly tart wood elements are distributed with dark walnuts on the palate. A creamy and oily mouthfeel arises, sweet fruit notes show up, slightly smoky wood elements stick to the palate. Long remain smoky elements and dark wood tones in connection with dark walnuts in memory.

  2. Dramned! scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    I do not know how whisky tastes from the good old days, because that is supposed to reflect this Ben Nevis. At least it is complex in the nose and quite "different" and apart from the typical features, there are many new things to discover. Very full-bodied in the mouth and for a Ben Nevis with unusually much smoke. He has no age, but there are rumors that he should be six years old. The dominant Eichennoten but testify to much older barrels, of which not a few must be included here. I find it exciting and very unusual for a Ben Nevis. In the finish he is a bit too bitter for me, but that only minimizes the overall impression. A very successful special bottling, which absolutely meets the anniversary of the distillery - and compared to the massively hyped and overpriced anniversary bottlings of various Islay distilleries, this is pleasantly quiet and dignified. Very sympathic!
    • Nose
      Immediately I have Ben Nevis' signature dark chocolate with roasted cocoa in the nose - unmistakable. Then fine smoke and strong fruity sherry notes jostle forward. An oily-salty spiciness, brown cane sugar, a hint of oak, cinnamon and a few tart citrus notes - most likely orange peel - complete the complex picture.
    • Taste
      The onset is fierce - significantly more smoke on the palate and strong alcohol. A creamy sweetness of Demerara sugar and caramelized nuts, spicy fruit compote, fresh linseed oil and ripe peaches slosh aromatic over the tongue. Mild oak notes and bitter tannins become more and more dominant here in the nose.
    • Finish
      In the medium-long finish dominate mainly the smoke with an ashen bitterness, dry wood tones, grapefruit and some sweet sherry aroma.

  3. HwiskyNut scored this whisky 87 points Connoisseur

    22 + 22 + 22 + 21 = 87 as for 5 years, then a great batch

  4. wisekycourse scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    A Scottish 5 years old, to follow!
    • Nose
      very fruity, on exotic fruits, on banana, on mandarin on cooked apple!
      soft smoke
      caramel, a buttered side too!
    • Taste
      peppery spices,
      pretty bland!
      the fruits are not so present, there is more honey there, and malt
      the smoke gives way to peat both dry and sooty and earthy!
    • Finish
      cold smoke, peat well present, but also discreet
      fruits again on tropical fruits, but less forward!
      caramel and vanilla.

  5. Totoro scored this whisky 85 points Connoisseur

    Not a lot of wood on the nose, unsurprisingly so given the age (around 5 years). Indeed some peat aroma, along with smoked bacon, coal smoke and charcoal (from the barrels?). Ashy, dark, autumnal. A leathery note along with some nice mustiness and sweet, overripe, decomposing windfall: damsons and, perhaps, pears (no sign of the peaches I so often find in Ben Nevis). Some oils and metal polish, i.e., "workshop aromas". With time, a herbal aspect develops. (thyme, cress). Okay, okay, I have to admit, this is well-done and very complex for its age.

    Starts smoky-ashy and oily on the tongue, almost like a somewhat defused Laphroaig. Then the herbal elements increase - I distinctly get sage and perhaps a hint of rosemary. Very savory, all in all. Meaty, umami flavors. Maybe I'm imagining things, but I'm almost certain I detect a generous portion of cask char in this. The last time I got this was with the Glen Scotia Victoriana, another excellent old-style NAS bottling (of which, needless to say, there aren't many). Little to no fruit on the palate, apart from some faint acidity you could dub "citrus" if you had a mind to, and some residual sweetness that you could liken to fructose if you absolutely wanted to.

    Long finish, due to the smoke, but some caramel and, surprisingly: sweetness also lingers. Very pleasant.

    On the whole, this is a rather dry affair, powered by peat-smoked malt and (I'll go ahead and guess:) heavily re-charred casks. I love it, but wouldn't recommend it to fans of fruity whiskies. Also, I wager, not a whisky that you'll have a lot of on any given night; this is more of the kind of hearty pick-me-up that you have one dram of after returning from a walk in rainy and/or cold weather.

  6. karloff scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    I must admit on my quest to try every Scottish distillery I've avoided Ben Nevis like the plague. I needn't have worried. I rather like this and it's thanks to Peatbogger for the sample.
    • Nose
      Quite earthy to start off with and I mean fresh soil . The smokiness is quite subtle. Brown shoe polish or Barbour jacket wax. Kiwi fruit, toasted bread with apricot jam on it. There is something old there but I can't quite put my finger on it.
    • Taste
      The smokiness sits in the background and lets the fruit flavours take the stand. Citrus fruits like orange,lemon and again kiwi fruit. It sits in the mouth like a fruity cough sweet actually. There is also a nice woody texture. Now and again the smoke just lets you know it's there.
    • Finish
      The finish is where the smokiness takes the stand and the fruit flavours take a back seat. Quite good.

  7. peatbogger scored this whisky 86 points Specialist

    Very nice retro design, and the whisky is nice too.
    • Nose
      First sniff reminded me of a Springbank. It's got some of that "dirty old school" nose to it.

      Gentle peat, pencil lead, peach, some banana and a herbal mix.

      Some citrus (orange peel) and grassy notes emerging down the glass.
    • Taste
      Very pleasant creamy arrival.

      Easy drinkable at 46%

      A lot simpler than the nose.

      Mix of peat and dry coal smoke. Mineral. Starting kind of sweet but going into bitter orange chocolate.
    • Finish
      About medium lenght, quite dry chewing tobacco with mild spice.

  8. AdelphosHume scored this whisky 87 points Expert Senior

    Mainly sherry cask matured. Not the best of Ben Nevis, but an interesting peat variety, none-the-less. A good, heavy, coating mouth-feel. The underlying spirit was of very good quality, and the casks used to mature it were of noticeable quality, too.  
    • Nose
      Peat, banana, barely, soft fruits, and a hint of earthiness. After 5 minutes, some green fruit notes appear.
    • Taste
      Floral peat, peated barely, and orange zest.
    • Finish
      Lightly peated green fruits.

  9. Tordeaux scored this whisky 85 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      84 84
    • Taste
      86 86
    • Finish
      85 85

  10. lonespirit scored this whisky 85 points Expert Junior

    I found this very tasty so I immediately thought that I have to show it to my whisky lover friends. Definitely worth to share.
    • Nose
      85 85
      At first nosing it reminds me of some powder, citrus flavoured drink mix of my childhood, ascorbic acid, then strong citrus notes. After 10 minutes aired I can smell that classic Ben Nevis style - smoke and earthy aromas but here we get some sweetness and citrus as well.
    • Taste
      85 85
      Sweet dough, vanilla, dried grass, dusty flavours - this is delicious! Getting dry after a few sips, not too strong in alcohol for me, but smoky. At the end there is that oily taste from the garage, woody, dirty and starts to bite.
    • Finish
      84 84
      Oh, ashy and smoky, very pleasant and long.


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