Review #109: SCN Ben Nevis 23 year (1996)
Ben Nevis is usually spoken of with great enthusiasm by whisky fiends. I’ve always scratched my head at that. We’ve both been scarred so heavily by an Old Malt Cask bottling of Ben Nevis (review here), that we usually pass by any Ben Nevis offerings and spring for scotch from basically any other distillery.
Finally, we tried Ben Nevis again. Not by choice. This was part of a 5-part virtual tasting led by Single Cask Nation. We missed the actual tasting (we were moving houses), but we did an independent nosing and tasting flight.
I’m pleased to say that the Ben Nevis 23 was our favorite of the group. It’s a beautiful, delicate and fruit-forward spirit but with incredible depth. Thank you for changing my mind, SCN. I’m going to be on the lookout for more bottlings.
Quick overview of our scoring system
- Barrel: 2nd fill bourbon hogshead
- Distilled November 1996, bottled in 2019
- ABV: 50.4%
- 209 bottles (cask #1839)
- The Ben Nevis Mountain at which the distillery sits at the base of is by far more famous than the distillery itself and the highest mountain in Britain
- Ben Nevis Distillery is one of Scotland’s oldest and founded in 1825. It is the last distillery in Scotland to use a slow fermentation process with brewer’s yeast and wooden washbacks. Tends to favor sherry casks.
- Ben Nevis is now owned by Nikka and much of their whiskies are exported for blending into Nikka’s blends (e.g. their Black blend).