Whisky Review: Ben Nevis 1997 Single Cask Bottled for the Sydney Whisky Fair

[48.6%・Distilled in 1997・Bottled in 2017・ Oak Barrel Bottling・Limited Release of 60 Bottles]

Nose:

A splendid synergy of gooey toffee which carries the familiar heaviness of the distillery and the plump orchard fruits which stemmed from the ex-Bourbon cask.  The two seemingly polar notes are brought together beautifully by the buttery and grassy undertones.  A clean infusion of vanilla only arrives later on to join the comforting maltiness and the lovely dose of stone fruits.

Palate & Finish:

A wondrous welcoming with the buttery mouthfeel dressed with papaya, fresh oranges and Brazilian grilled pineapples.  The malt is crisp with just the optimal amount of American oak spices which juxtapose nicely with the weight of the spirit; the complexity charmingly prop up the depth of the delivery.  On the mid-palate it opens up and offers silky molten caramel and soft fruits akin to some of those lovely malts distilled in the 1960-1970s.

A medium of finish of generous lager maltiness with a slight hint of earthiness, fresh and moreish.

Thoughts:

I have known Mr. Fitzsimons since he took the helm of the spirits department at the Oak Barrel and I honestly believe this is the best cask under his watch so far.  What an wonderful achievement.  A lovely and complex drop.

P.S. Cheers Mr. Fitzsimons for the wee nip, it’s much appreciated.

-Nicholas