Ben Nevis 23 Years Old The Whisky Agency 47.6% 1996
|Bottler||The Whisky Agency|
|Serie||TWA Spring 2020|
Serge Valentin (91)
Colour: straw. Nose: a beautiful kind of creamy waxiness mixed with ripe white and green fruits which now feels so particular to these vintages of Ben Nevis. Lemon jelly, white marshmallow, juicy fruit chewing gum, chalk, freshly laundered fabrics and pineapple syrup. Rather straight, pure, exuberant with these fruity notes and perfectly balancing these mineral, oily and fruity qualities. Mouth: wonderful concentration on arrival. You really feel like you’re getting pure fruit salad juices from the bottom of the bowl. There’s also this beautifully textural honeyed waxiness that’s laced with salinity. Then mineral salts, dried herbs, wee hints of medicine and more, rather complex, waxiness. Finish: long, lemon balm, cough sweets, fruit pastilles, mead, herbal liqueurs and a little mint tea. Comments: Yet another magical 96 Ben Nevis. It was the concentration on the palate here that impressed the most.
Nose: check. Classic waxy and creamy notes, with higher levels of overripe bananas, mango and melons this time, as well as chestnut honey on toast. Hints of sunflower oil and chalk. Sugary almond. Warm hay. Less citrusy this time. Even a hint of strawberries and cream after a while. Excellent.
Mouth: clean, with a peppery onset, then some sweet grapefruit juice followed by pollen, yellow flowers, nectar and guava. Also plenty of mineral notes, candle wax, hints of metal polish. Vanilla custard. Again a bit more on the creamy and warm side, hardly any passion fruits this time for instance. Subtle dried herbs towards the end.
Finish: long, waxy and slightly honeyed, with mineral notes and a peppery touch.
Another excellent Ben Nevis, this time with a little more warmth and less of the citrusy brightness (which I adore, I must say). The difference comes down to personal preference, in any case this is one the modern classics in whisky. One of the highlights in this batch.