Single malt whisky - tasting notes

31 Mar 2011

Ben Nevis 1966 (Alchemist)

Tasting notes by Ruben Luyten - Posted in Ben Nevis

Alchemist (written Alc-hem-ist) is an independent Scottish bottler founded by Gordon Wright (member of the family behind Springbank, one of the people behind the resurrection of Bruichladdich and co-founder of Murray McDavid). There has been some momentum around this bottler a couple of years ago, but it seems to have faded quite soon. The website has never been updated since 2006 either.


Ben Nevis 1966 AlchemistBen Nevis 42 yo 1966
(40,6%, Alchemist 2008)

Nose: old polished wood mixed with a slightly tropical fruitiness (melon, banana). Nice coconut / vanilla combo. Hints of old grain whisky, but this is better and certainly smoother. Hints of lipstick. Heather notes. Honey. Verbena tea. A little smoke as well. Great nose, as great as old Ben Nevis can be. Mouth: interesting combination of sweet, sour and oaky flavours. Seville oranges, a little sherry. Heathery notes again. Light coconut. Getting quite spicy and oaky after a while (nutmeg, cloves, ginger). Maybe a little too oaky but hey, it’s 42 years old. Finish: long, fruity and waxy with a sourish touch.

Always be on the lookout for old Ben Nevis. Their 1960’s spirit is getting rare, but usually of great interest. This one is still available in some shops, but it doesn’t come cheap. Around € 220.

Score: 90/100

Ben Nevis 1966 (Alchemist) 4 Ruben Luyten 2011-03-31
  • aw

    There’s a lot of interesting information about Gordon Wright (and his uncle, and about Springbank in general) in John MacDougall’s excellent “Wort, Worms and Washbacks: Memoirs from the Stillhouse”.



October 2015
« Sep    

  • Tony: The Brora at 1500 Euros seems to recognise that last years similarly priced just hasn't sold, so no increase there (and even a slight drop). Then agai
  • kallaskander: Hi there, I remember that Bacardi said all the Last Great Malts would carry an age statement. Which is true. I thought they promised they would all b
  • WhiskyNotes: It looks like this will not be part of the official selection this year. Maybe an upcoming standalone release.

Coming up

  • Bunnahabhain 1987 (Maltbarn)
  • Glen Garioch 1993 (Maltbarn)
  • Royal Brackla 16 Year Old
  • Irish malt 1991 'Maria' (The Nectar)
  • Teeling 26yo Vintage Reserve
  • Kavalan Podium

1892 notes by Ruben

WhiskyNotes - Ruben LuytenThis blog is my personal collection of impressions, written while searching for the ultimate single malt whisky.