Nose: Starts off on sour, damp wood, vanillin and "settled", mature citrus. Sweet grapefruit lemonade, icing sugar and Ricola candies. Some maracuja / passion fruit comes out after a while. Creamy, slightly lactic. Very nice interplay of sour, sweet and woody herbal aromas. Especially the latter are impressive and gracefully counterpoise the candied notes. So far, so good! This is my first bourbon-cask-matured Ben Nevis, and I like what I'm getting here. The sherried versions often included a slightly unnerving peach iced tea aroma that is thankfully lacking in this one.
Taste: Starts on the characteristic Ben Nevis selling points: heavy-duty industrial / workshop associations (tar, grease, oil, graphite, coal, a slight steeliness). Sweetness and creamy vanilla from the bourbon cask, then tropical notes which finally fade off into prickly pepper and the kind of bitterness (and very slight smokiness) that, in my opinion, connects Ben Nevis to Springbank.
Finish: Not too long, on pepper and tart notes, some residual smoke and vanilla. Perhaps the weakest point of the whole experience.