Ben Nevis 13 year old is the ‘Malt of the Month’ for August.
I was going to write a long winded passage about the Ben Nevis Distillery, but the caption below captures the essence of Ben Nevis so well, that rather than reinvent the wheel, I would share it with you. Who am I to rewrite a 183 year old quote?
“There are some who would have you believe that there exists a kind of divine secret, a miraculous ingredient or genius behind the manufacture of Scotch Whisky. I however, acknowledge no miracle other than that which is worked when science and nature combine.
The principal ingredients are three, notably water, barley and yeast, with a measure of peat smoke or reek.
Of these there can be no doubt that water is the foremost. On Ben Nevis I was fortunate to find a constant and consistent source of pure clean water in two small lochans.
In order of importance, the second ingredient is barley. This must be clean and plump, fully rounded and quite dry, containing exactly the right amount of protein.
Special distiller’s yeast is the third ingredient. This has the texture of dough or putty and is vital to the process of fermentation.
And fourthly there is peat, which comes to the whisky through the water passing over peat bogs on its way down the mountain, and from the ‘reek’ from the fire lit during the manufacturing process.
Once again, we are fully fortunate in that nature in her magnificence, has created on the hill behind us, an ample supply of peat in our own banks to fuel the fires drying the barley.”
John MacDonald – 14th June 1827
Now to the whisky. This Ben Nevis 13 year old is from Duncan Taylor and is an NC2, meaning it is non chill filtered and no caramel added, so they call it the NC2 range. With no filtering it needs to be bottled at a higher alc/vol to keep the floaty bits (technical term) in suspension. This doesn’t work all that well as there are still floaty bits, but that is for extra flavour. There is no colour added either, so despite 13 years in oak, the whisky is quite lightly coloured. It is bottled at 46% so has a bit of a kick, but you wouldn’t know it by tasting it. It is light and delicate. The primary flavours are rich barley sugar, with some pine nut characters. The Ben Nevis 13 year old is a full bodied whisky, with a lot of flavour and warmth. Beautifully balanced with a lovely long vanilla, cream finish that lasts and lasts. Don’t let its pale complexion confuse, it has lovely power and strength.