Ben Nevis 5, 2015-2020, First Fill Oloroso Cask 10715, 58.9% – Adelphi for Whisky Import Nederland

Image from Whiskybase

When there’s a label from a respected bottler like Adelphi stating that the contents are Ben Nevis, the bottles tend to fly off the shelves. In this case that might have gone even faster since it’s a split cask, for some reason. Of course, selling bottles like this goes even faster if the whisky has a color like this one. I don’t think it’s much lighter than the coffee I’m drinking while typing this.

I checked, by the way. The other half (technically 39.7%) was labelled for Loch Fyne Whiskies in Inveraray.

Apart from checking which bottling it was and having a vague memory somewhere of this being on the young side, I didn’t check anything when tasting this. I had no idea which distillery it was initially, nor that it is only five years old. That must have been some cask…

Rich and funky with lots of dried fruits and lots of waxed leather. Apart from dates and plums, there are also some stewed blackberries and strawberries. Quite jam like. A whiff of menthol in the background makes it not too heavy.

The palate is surprisingly smooth for the high ABV, with a whiff of chili peppers coming up after a few seconds. It doesn’t become hot at any time, though. Dried fruits, a bit of dark soil, some oak. A hint of leather and menthol.

The finish goes a little bitter with plum stones, and a whiff of almonds. Still a rather leathery style of sherry with some red fruit behind it.

Well, this is sherried, all right. I don’t think there’s a way of determining it’s a Ben Nevis if you didn’t know it. The spirit is completely overpowered by the cask influence. Not that that is a bad thing, because in this case the result is a fun whisky that showcases what sherry maturation can do in a rather short time.

The different aspects of sherry maturation, like dried fruits, funky notes of leather and menthol make for a great experience. It doesn’t show a tremendous amount of depth and layeredness, but that’s not too surprising after just five years.


Still available at Dramtime for € 99.95


About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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