Ben Nevis 1996 W-F

"Again a very good Ben Nevis from 1996. This time, the tropical fruits steal the show with tangerines on the mains stage. Good selection by Whisky-Fassle"

(Photo from Whiskybase)

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Third part of our Ben Nevis sessions, and again an independent bottling from 1996. In the previous review, I have looked at the number of bottlings per year in the 90s, which showed that 19996 was a particular productive year. Was 1996 also a very good vintage then? Again I turned to Whiskybase and as you can see in the graph below, the number of bottlings with a score above 87 was high in 1996, but 1990/91 and 1995 were similar in quality. Quality did slightly decrease towards the end of the 90s, while you should probably stay clear of bottlings from 1993/94. Anyway, let us continue to the subject of this review, bottled by the Germans of Whisky-Fassle, which in my experience often pick very good casks.

Nose

My first impression gives a gust of Bourbon vanilla with a slight dirty edge. An emptied that contained tangerines on sirup, metallic notes are in the back, and fresh nectarine juice. It opens into a more farmy side with hay, a summer day after haymaking. More tangerine and nectarine fruit juices, with copper. Did somebody use a copper spoon to stir it? Lemon skin scrapings on top together with a clear sense cola cubs. Interesting at least.

Taste

On the palate we continue with the main ingredient, tangerines, all the way. This has got a heavy bourbon influence, but stays very palatable. Reminiscent of dusty distilleries, old copper pots, and aluminium cans. The fruits make a successful re-entrance with more nectarines, we are very much in the summer with peaches, yellow cherries, and green prunes.

Overall

Again a very good Ben Nevis from 1996. This time, the tropical fruits steal the show with tangerines on the mains stage, but the farmy side and the metallic notes are never far away. Great cask selection by Jens!

What others say

Whiskybase: 87.81 (45 votes) * Serge Valentin @Whiskyfun: 90/100
Read for yourself

Big thanks for sharing the sample

Scores

these are my personal views, so do not take them too seriously… nothing beats tasting these for yourself •

Cask influence
65%
Peat/smoke
10%
Nose 87.5%
Taste 87%
Balance 87.5%
Depth 87%
Finish 87.5%
Score