Whisky Review: Ben Nevis 17 Year Old 1998

Category: Highland single malt scotch whisky

Origin: Ben Nevis Distillery

Bottling: Claxton’s

ABV: 54%

Cost: £89.95 from Claxton’s

ben-nevis-17-year-old-1998-claxtons

What they say:

Located in incredibly beautiful surroundings, the Ben Nevis Highland distillery in Fort William has had a somewhat torrid history of closures and re-openings since its beginning in 1825. The distillery has now been re-opened for over 25 years, and still stays very loyal to its traditional rich, ripe, chewy style of malt whisky.
The wood has done its job wonderfully well with this cask of whisky; a punchy, chewy dram that makes no apologies. The perfect balance between spirit, oak and age creates a complex, very enjoyable and excellent value whisky.

NOSE:

Plenty of old oak, salted caramel and molasses. Followed by fresh tea and vanilla extract.

PALATE:

Even more mouth tingling oak and resin. Rich fruits, raisins and mixed peel. Chewy and full bodied.

FINISH:

Lingering and spicy. Citrus peel coming through much stronger, with a touch of heather.

REGION: Highlands
DISTILLED: 14/12/1998
CASK TYPE: Hogshead
CASK NO: 1608-1552
NO. OF BOTTLES: 234

What I say:

Many thanks to Adrian at Claxton’s for kindly providing this sample for review. A 17 year old Ben Nevis distilled in 1998 (not to be confused with their just released 1999 vintage).

Colour:

Amber gold (7/20) , elongated medium-sized tears leave medium-fine legs

Nose:

Sweet, fresh and creamy, vanilla, latte coffee/mocha, ripe banana, caramel, floral/heather honey, rose, apple blossom, sweet floral perfume

Taste:

A burst of fruit followed by creamy caramel and rich toffee, cereal barley malt, astringent oak wood, tannic tea, cedar or sandalwood, banan and apple fruits, floral fruit tea; Chamomile? herbal; pineapple sage almost menthol/minty too

Finish:

Long, fresh sweet fruit and bitter oak wood – a little disjointed

Overall:

An unusual expression but it started to grow on me the more I sampled. some very specific herbality in here from the wood spices. The addition of a small drop of water settled things down, revealing more vanilla and cream, fresh apples and bitter/green oak wood.

Score: 82/100

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