"A bottling with a very fine nose, which even includes raspberries, but the palate is too wood-driven. Not the best one from 1996, I would say"
(Photo from Whiskybase)
“Good old Johann Wolfgang von Goethe already knew: True enjoyment is not fragrant. It creates a forever lasting impression“. A statement on the homepage of Malts of Scotland, a well-known bottler from, you might have guessed from the quote, Germany. Located in the town of Paderborn and founded by Thomas Ewers, who was appointed as Keeper of the Quaich in 2016. Their range consists of different single malt bottlings from Scotland, but also India and Ireland, and various blended malts, which is regularly supplemented with new additions. Today we have a Ben Nevis matured in a sherry hogshead from 1996.
Fruity with grassy notes. Or the other way around. The trademark metallics, copper and iron, are there. The fruity side becomes more dominant with papaya, oranges, kiwi, and green apples, all not fully ripened. I do not detect a lot of sherry cask influence, although the nose has a spice edge to it. Hints of old wood, nutmeg, fresh leather, charcoal, charred wood. The wood starts to compete for centre stage with the fruits, probably a bit too much for me. But the fruits luckily fight back to keep a delicate balance. The apples come more to front with notes of dry white wine, apple compote, maybe faint notes of red fruits. Yeah, there are definitely some raspberries, and spicy honey-walnut cake with orange peel on top. Nice.
Spices and fruits. Quite hot. The wood is very active giving cardamon, nutmeg, cinnamon powder, and sawdust. There are also fruits like pineapple, oranges and tangerines, but they tend to loose the battle on the palate. Water slightly pushes to the fruity side, but also makes it flatter. Finish with walnut cake, orange zest, charcoal and a few fruits.
This Ben Nevis has a very fine nose was, but in the palate the distillery’s character is drawn to the background. A shame really, because we know how good the Ben Nevis spirit is. Not the most recommendable bottling from 1996 in my opinion.
Big thanks for sharing the sample
• these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •