Ben Nevis 15 yo 1996/2012 (51.7%, OB, sherry cask, cask #1654) Colour: light amber. Nose: this one is pleasantly dirty, like many official Ben Nevis in my experience. There’s some hay, touches of manure, some bitter chocolate, petrol, gunpowder, gravel, overripe apples, charcoal, mint… yeah, that’s already quite a lot. Oh and then litres of walnut wine. With water: the raisins make it through and there’s plenty of them. It all became much narrower but also cleaner and easier. I also quite like these small metallic touches. Silver cutlery? Mouth (neat): this is big, phat, leathery and orangy, with oak spices in the front, which is not always a good thing in my book. It’s absolutely not excessive here but I prefer my ginger and my pepper in the finish than in the arrival, if you see what I mean. But we’re nitpicking, this creamy arrival is most appealing. Who stole all the bitter oranges? With water: not the best swimmer I’m afraid. It got dry and cardboardy. Finish: nice when naked, drying and flat with only one drop of water. Comments: very fine but it hates water. I think Ben Nevis never quite likes water, which takes the biscuit when you know where the distillery is located ;-).SGP:551 - 83 points.
Serge Valentin, Whiskyfun