Origin: Highlands (Scotland)
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Ageing cask: Ex-Bourbon
Added colouring: No
Owner: Whisky Facile
Average price: € 425.00
Official website: Whisky Facile
What was perhaps the most eagerly awaited bottling in the series celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Italian Whisky Facile blog, not so much (and not only) for the choice of distillate (you don’t see many quarter-century-old Ben Nevis around) as for its genesis: its arrival on Italian soil was plagued by continual entanglements and delays, causing it to be distributed long after the date initially planned.
And so it’s quite appropriate to have dedicated it to Ulysses and his odyssey, representing in an almost literal way the conclusion of a tortuous journey but one as full of surprises and delights as this first series was able to give us.
Single hogshead that produced 122 bottles, which almost sold out on release in September 2022.
A very dark whisky in the glass, so dark as to almost make you doubt that it comes from an ex-Bourbon cask, and the nose matches the colour so full with equally marked and intense aromas of dried fruit (dates, goji berries, pineapple), liquorice, ripe apple, cinchona elixir, chocolate, nutmeg and cloves. A streak of a Barbour jacket left hanging in a cupboard long ago runs through them, with that dirty, mineral note I like so much in Ben Nevis working in perfect synergy with the olfactory profile here. Portentous.
The palate is just as dark and full-bodied, with a thick, chewy oiliness, where a mineral and vegetal vein creeps elegantly between impressions of nuts (walnuts, almonds), more liquorice and dehydrated fruit with a greater influence of tropical fruit, chocolate and a hint of propolis in the background. Spicy hints of aniseed and nutmeg. Bitter evocations intertwine with the moisture of musk, wearing that jacket without bothering too much to give it a clean, that we like things lived in and a little dirty. A saline hint emerges along the length.
Long finish with spicy touches where the vegetal, mineral, bitter, dark and damp notes of the drink come together.
Rich, very rich and anything but pleasurable as only Ben Nevis knows how to be, knowing how to combine evocations that are not exactly genteel with a de facto elegance expressed by the balance of flavours, whose intensity permeates the senses and accompanies you for a long time, making you want to walk through the woods in the pouring rain.