Origin: Highlands (Scozia)
Typology: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing casks: Ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry
Added coloring: No
Average price: € 90,00
Official website: www.bennevisdistillery.com
After the dazzling version of Chorlton Whisky, we return to the Fort Williams distillery, named after the highest mountain in the British Isles at whose base it was founded.
Founded in 1825 by Long John McDonald (a name due to his considerable height), on his death the business was passed on to his son Donald, and it was thanks to his entrepreneurial skill that in 1878 a second distillery had to be built nearby (called only Nevis), to cope with the growing demand for the distillate, only to merge the two structures in the early 1900s.
A new owner in 1955, Joseph Hobbs, introduced continuous distillation producing both malt and grain whisky (one of the first in Scotland), and when he died in 1978 the company experienced three years of inactivity, after which it reopened thanks to Long John Distillers (and this time for malt whisky only).
The last stop was in 1986 until the final revival again in the following three years under the current Japanese ownership.
At the moment, most of the production is used for “Japanese” whiskies (which, as we know, often have only a Japanese name), while the rest ends up in the blended Dew of Ben Nevis and Macdonalds of Glencoe.
Very little is left for the main label, which since 1996 has consisted of the 10-year only (not so easy to find), flanked by various independent editions.
But what will this chimera of Scotch whisky be like?
Light amber in the glass.
Very fresh and delicate nose, floral with balsamic touches (mint, even), accompanied by fruit (peach, apricot, apple) and cinnamon. Spice that opens up over time to sherried scents, which gradually impose themselves with ripe plum, sultanas in spirit, dark chocolate and a hint of coffee. Two souls that intertwine without stumbling, very interesting.
The alcohol content is optimal, warming without overdoing it in the mouth, letting the freshness of the aromas pamper the palate in a full and oily consistency, encouraging the spicy side (cinnamon again with a pinch of pepper), combined with a delicate caress of wood. The balanced marriage of American and Spanish influences remains, with vanilla, chocolate, yellow fruit (even a little pineapple), orange, plums and liquorice.
The finish is quite long, with orange, cinnamon, pepper, liquorice and a hint of coffee.
What a masterful balance for such a young whisky! I can now understand the desperate search for a bottle by many, a fine distillate that blends effortlessly into a full and satisfying drink.