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…

Sniff:
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.

Sip:
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.

Swallow:
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.

87/100

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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