Ben Nevis 10 Years

This is the new 2017 edition of Ben Nevis 10 Years, which has a newly designed label since April 2017. It’s funny how a label can be brand-new and look instantly retro at the same time (but probably not on purpose, if you know what I mean).

In fact Ben Nevis distllery is a bit of an outsider: no marketing tricks, outdated website, on the whole a bit forsaken by its Japanese owners (Nikka), with a highly unmodern, often irregular output.

Update: I was told this is now composed with a large portion of 18 year old spirit, in order to give the only Ben Nevis expression an upgrade. I have no official confirmation but it would certainly explain the significant improvement of this new edition.

Update Feb 2019: after it was unavailable for a while, there is a new batch of the 10 Year Old, which is said to contain whisky much closer to the stated age. On the new version the ABV is just above the gold 10 stripe, while in 2017 it was at the very bottom of the (taller) label.



Ben Nevis 10 Year OldBen Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB 2017)

Nose: rather unique for an entry-level 10yo. It’s oily, leafy and slightly dusty, with green malty notes, Seville oranges and all-spice. Cardamom. A bit of smoke. A rather winey kind of fruitiness after a while (grapes, greengages).

Mouth: sweet, honeyed onset, with lots of Seville oranges, then getting more powerful but also more austere. Spices (pepper, nutmeg). A resinous, lightly bitter edge, lots of minerals and a light metallic note. Hints of dark chocolate. Lightly peated, or so it seems. Who said Springbank? Or Yoichi? Rather unique in any case.

Finish: medium long, on oranges and light toffee with mineral notes in the background.

I think this Ben Nevis 10 Years is a very interesting whisky, slightly anachronistic but with a real Highlands character. Recommended, give it a try if you have the chance! Around € 50-60. Becoming hard to find, Master of Malt and The Whisky Barrel have it, while The Whisky Exchange has a more recent version (bottled 2019).

Score: 89/100