Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ben Nevis 1996, 18 Year Old, Whiskybase

A Ben Nevis tonight, bottled by Menno and CJ at to mark the 60,000th whisky added to the Whiskybase database. The first Ben Nevis on this blog too, it seems.

Ben Nevis 1996, 18 Year Old, "60,000 Bottles on the Wall", 50.6%

Nose: Heavily oxidised wine, beef stock, BBQ sauce, hoisin, sweet soy. A hint of sweet citrussy stuff too, nestled in some really nice powdery oak tannins holding it together. After a little longer some plums emerge, together with walnuts.
Water lightens the nose, emphasising the citrus amid the still dominant oxidised wine, and turning the plums into something more like red berries perhaps.

Palate: Initially a burst of plummy sweetness which is soon joined by that lovely citrus element again. There's some spices - cinnamon and cloves - and some of the savoury stuff promised by the nose - beef stock and something funky and fungal - lurking at the back as well.
Water heightens the citrus - and brightens the palate in general with perhaps a hint of those red berries - at the expense, though, of some of those savoury notes.

Finish: Long  finish, heavy on salted licorice amongst the palate's sweeter notes. There's also notes reminiscent of top-end grappa that linger longest on the finish, (further) evidence, I suspect, of some top quality European oak.
Water does not drastically alter much, but it does perhaps extend some of those plum and red fruit notes further into the finish.

This is a very good drink. I really like it. Great nose and finish. Complex, delicious, interesting and just a bit different, this is a super choice as commemorative bottling by the guys at Whiskybase. Long gone now I think though.

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