I’ve had a look at the recent batch from Artful Dodger, which contains this Ben Nevis 1998, something that always gets my attention. Often great spirit which shines in refill casks.
Ben Nevis 21 yo 1998 (53%, Artful Dodger Whisky Collective 2020, refill bourbon hogshead #674)
Nose: ace. Juicy mirabelles, hints of pink grapefruits and passion fruits. Great fruitiness against a backdrop of sunflower oil and mineral notes. Wet gravel and chalk. A little candlewax and fresh laundry, and growing vanilla over time.
Mouth: excellent again. A bright, slightly tropical fruitiness of pineapples and peaches, green apple peelings and lots of citrus notes. Lemon oil. Almonds. Hints of pepper and vanilla cookies, mixing with chalky notes and light waxy touches.
Finish: long, with a bit more peppery oak now, mellowed by barley sugar and white fruits.
Nothing beats the 1995-1996 vintages in my book, but this is still pretty great. Fruity whisky with echoes of Clynelish minerality. Recommended. Available from Artful Dodger direct or Master of Malt for instance.