Founded in 1825 by “Long” John MacDonald, Ben Nevis was bought in 1941 by Joseph Hobbs, a Canadian millionaire, who installed a Coffey still so it could produce a single grain in 1955. This patent still was dismantled when the distillery was mothballed in 1978. Reopened in 1984, it has been owned by the Japanese Nikka Whisky since 1989. This fino cask, which was filled on 20th December 1990, merrily strays off the beaten track, like every great Ben Nevis single malt. Drawing heavily from the world of rum (sugar cane, rum baba), it is also characterized by Andalusian culture (yeast voile, almond). The particularly malty and mineral retronasal olfaction proudly reflects its Scottish roots.
Colour: burnished gold with glints of topaz.
Profile: the refined initial nose is vegetal, vanilla and marked by toffee. It then develops notes of coconut. With time, its Andalusian character (fino sherry) takes hold. The nuanced attack is exotic (coconut, pineapple) and medicinal (mustard). The mid-palate is clearly reminiscent of rum. The rich finish brings us a delicious rum baba before moving into brioche and spice (curry).
The whisky was disgorged and bottled under my supervision in the Town of Pitlochry on 12th June 2018.Andrew W. Symington, Managing Director, Signatory Vintage