The Malt of the Month for September is Ben Nevis 10 Year Old.
Ben Nevis is the tallest mountain in Scotland and also a highland single malt whisky. The distillery was built in Fort William, on the banks of the river Lochy in 1825 by Long John MacDonald. It saw great success early on and was highly held by the MacDonald family through to the end of the whisky boom in the 1908. Thereafter it changed hands several times and has operated and lain silent until it was eventually being bought by Nikka Distilling company in 1989, who continue to own it today.
Interestingly after buying the distillery in 1955 – Joseph Hobbs installed a continuous distillation Coffey Still. This makes Ben Nevis one of the few distilleries that produced both grain and malt alcohol. No more though – the foray into grain alcohol only lasted 26 years.
This months Ben Nevis 10 Year Old is the first into Australia with the ‘all new’ packaging. This was updated in April this year. So without further ado – the ‘new’ Ben Nevis 10yo.
The whisky has a lovely golden hue, with an ever so gentle touch of bronze, indicating a small selection may have seen maturation in Sherry butts, but overwhelmingly this whisky has been aged in ex bourbon barrels from the US.
The nose supports this with rich honey, vanilla and almond characters, with hints of tropical fruit like banana, with just the slightest smokiness.
There is an immediate richness on the palate with exuberant honey, barley sugar, whole bean vanilla and a nuttiness. The finish makes this whisky something special. It leaves the palate very clean, but then the warmth and flavour of the finish rushes back through the mouth, leaving a delicious residual flavour, long after the glass is dry.