We’ve followed up the batches of Ben Nevis 10 Year Old closely in the past few years, ever since the 2017 edition which suddenly showed outstanding value for money (and was said to contain a large proportion of much older whisky).
There was a slightly tweaked release in 2019 (adjusted to the stock situation) and now in 2021, after a considerable hiatus, the 10 Year Old is back with a new presentation. The design is still a bit understated, albeit cleaner and more minimalist now. Let’s see whether the whisky has evolved as well.
Ben Nevis 10 yo (46%, OB 2021, L21-8539)
Nose: more porridge than I remembered. More plain malty notes, muesli, floral touches and ‘mundane’ fruits as well (apple and orange peels). Slightly cleaner and less funky than the version it replaces, but some of the mineral and chalky notes are still there. Also (linseed) oil, walnuts, waxed lemons and leather which confirm the Highlands character.
Mouth: nice. There’s a flash of the rich and almost tropical fruitiness that reminds us of the 1996/1997 expressions, but it’s overtaken by cereal notes and a fatty character. Later also a hint of black pepper, nutmeg and mineral notes. Hints of resin. Some leafy notes. It evolves towards spiced chocolate towards the end.
Finish: quite long, with orange oils, malt, a grassy note and spice.
Maybe not exactly on the same (very high) level as the 2017 version, probably ditching any spirit older than necessary. It’s slightly less funky than before. That said, it’s still a delicious kind of Highlands profile that should be on your shelf at all times. Available from TyndrumWhisky, The Whisky Barrel or The Whisky Exchange.