Scotch Whisky Review #195: Old Malt Cask Ben Nevis 21 Year K&L Exclusive (1997)
Distillery: Ben Nevis
Bottler: Hunter Laing
ABV: 57.7% Cask Strength
Cask Type: Sherry Butt
Cask Number: HL15364
Age: 21 Year. Distilled Feb 1997, bottled July 2018.
Color: 1.0, Deep Copper. Natural Color and Non-Chill Filtered.
Nose: (according to the wife) Lots of fruits, they’re really sharp and fairly tart. Pineapple stands out along with a bit of citrus in orange and lemon.
Palate: Mouthfeel is fairly oily. It does require some watering down as it is pretty hot at full strength. After some water has been added, you get a bit of malt and a sugary bread. It’s joined by a limoncello note: tart, slightly sugary, and slightly boozey. Strawberry syrup follows afterwards with a bit of basil. The mix of the three is a bit of a lovely summery cocktail. Towards the back is a mix of white and black pepper.
Finish: Long, that pepper mix that appears late in the palate continues here. A slightly bready note remains as well. It reminds me a whole lot of the aftertaste after dipping a sourdough bread into an olive oil and pepper mixture. Very clean finish.
Conclusion: As I read my notes on this Ben Nevis again, it almost feels like it shouldn’t work. You have some strong fruity notes in the nose and the palate in citrus, pineapple, and strawberries. And then you have an oily, pepper mix with some bread. The two seem like they wouldn’t get along but somehow it works here. The little bits of bread and oil provide a clean start and end to this dram. The summery fruit cocktail mix keep things interesting in the middle resulting in a really lovely experience. If I wasn’t a couple of years late to this one, I’d definitely want to buy a bottle or two!
Final Score: 87.
Scotch Whisky Review #195, Highland Review #40, Whisky Network Review #273
- 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
- 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
- 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection (if feasible).
- 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
- 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
- 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
- 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
- Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.