Ben Nevis 9, 2012-2022, Manzanilla cask, 59.6% – King Cask

Ben Nevis is hugely popular nowadays, with their regular 10 year old being one of the best entry level whiskies out there. That is, if you can get it. However, I tend to steer away from the plethora of young variants being released by loads of bottlers. There’s only so much 8 or 9 year old whisky that is interesting, after all.

Then this one came along. By King Cask, a Dutch bottler that approaches things with a bit of a twist compared to everyone else. Like their boat-aged Blair Athol, and various other bottlings that never state that they’re single malt whiskies.

What also helps, apart from being directly in touch with the bottler, is that this one was finished in a Manzanilla cask. Like Fino casks, I like these whiskies, generally. As in, they’re bone dry and have just enough influence as to not overpower the initial spirit. It normally ends up being a successful marriage, single malt and dry white sherries. Let’s see what this one brings to the table!

Another piece of our house revealed…

Sniff:
Slightly funky with lots of oaky notes. Some vanilla and puff pastry in the background, and there’s a certain acidity to it as well. Fruity notes like white grapes and apple come through after that.

Sip:
The palate is sharp and dry, lots of oak shavings and sawdust. The Manzanilla has added quite a bit of its dryness too, and a bit of a crisp fruity thing as well. Apples and white grapes again, star fruit. The sharpness and dry bite keep building for a while. White pepper, and a bit of vanilla syrup.

Swallow:
The finish becomes a bit more wine-y, with more flavors that I normally find in a wine finish than in a sherry one. The bourbon cask pastry notes linger, as does the woody pepper. The wine notes are fruity sweetness, and a bit of a buttery chardonnay note.

The almost 60% ABV is not something to scoff at. It really packs a punch, and together with the incredible dryness it is not something for everyone, I think. However, for such a youngster I do like the combination of the Ben Nevis spirit and the added dry and fruity notes from the sherry cask finish. Good stuff, once again!

86/100

Still available at The Whisky Office in Limburg, for € 85.

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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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