Ben Nevis 2005 (Whisky Sponge)

Ben Nevis 2005 (Whisky Sponge)

This package was stuck in customs for a while, but one of the latest releases in the WhiskySponge series was a Ben Nevis 2005. A vintage that I’ve never had before, it was either the excellent 1995-1998 vintages or the younger 2010-2011 vintages.


Ben Nevis 15 yo 2005 (48,5%, WhiskySponge 2021, refill hogshead, 322 btl.)

Nose: it’s what I call the ‘lactic’ style of Ben Nevis. Sometimes they start on yoghurt and buttermilk. Here it’s rather subtle and mixed with yeasty notes, chalk, greasy notes pears. Hints of wet wool. As it opens up we get more lemons and a hint of green banana.

Mouth: barley eau-de-vie with bread, chalk, porridge and some grapefruits. Later also orchard fruits. Subtle custard. Grassy / herbal notes and a hint of mineral oils before there’s a burst of warm, dark notes, almost coffee in the end.

Finish: quite long, more narrow now, with mineral notes, some bitterness and alcohol warmth.

Although it shares the chalky, greasy notes with the 1990s vintages, it’s definitely more narrow and austere, with hardly any of the tropical fruits that we love in the best examples. Different style, not bad but not on the same level. Maybe in a few years.