I have a sweet spot for old Ben Nevis, so I was very curious about the Whiskybroker’s latest offering.
It’s a vatting of six underproof hogsheads, all filled at Ben Nevis on 15th March 1966 and bottled 10th of April 2015, with just 29,5% of alcohol. Yes, that’s cask strength. It can’t be named whisky so it is ‘Spirit of the Highlands’.
Ben Nevis 49 yo 1966 (29,5%, WhiskyBroker 2015, 524 btl.)
Nose: interesting. Very oaked, with some hints of paint thinner, glue and the characteristic waxiness, like lipstick. Some floral notes, hints of facial creams as well (vetiver). It reminds me of very old grain whiskies in a way. After some time, there is a nice apricot sweetness and banana shining through, as well as some mint and eucalyptus tea.
Mouth: oak juice really, with a certain sourness but – surprisingly – without the tannins. Mint, resinous notes, herbal teas and pepper. Lime. A bit of leather. Similar to what you get in really old bourbon, only without the sweetness.
Finish: short, with pepper and a hint of cocoa.
Let’s face it, this is a curiosum. If you approach this as a whisky, you will be disappointed. But I think it’s highly entertaining and much better than the underproof Macallan from the same bottler. I won’t score it, but I can tell you I don’t regret buying a bottle for € 35.