Another Ben Nevis and this time much older. A 21 year old Ben Nevis is something which just from the spec sheet I want to be good. I want it so have mellowed and have thick wood influence which complements the spirit but doesn’t over power. I want to feel the age but know its still whisky. We are nearly done with the build up to Christmas now (he says while writing this on the 8th Jan 2020!) so these have to be good right?

The Distillery

The Ben Nevis distillery is one which I have driven past and never visited. Its a large distillery in the town of Fort William in the Highlands and always full of coach loads of tourists. The tours must be cram packed with people and that if I am honest keeps me away.

The distillery has been owned by the Japanese company Asahi who also own Nikka. The distillery was owned by the brewer Whitbread until selling to the Japanese company in 1989.

The distillery is used for blending mostly but does have a very small single malt lineup of a 10 year old and a NAS version both of which seem to be hard to find in the UK.

The Dram


The last Ben Nevis was 23 years in cask on day 13. Now we have 2 less years but a more reasonable price tag of around £150. There are still bottles available from the 931 bottles in the batch if you want to grab one now as well. Each bottle is 50cl and 48.9% ABV so its all good specs really.

Tasting Notes

Colour – Golden orange

Nose – closed and tight some orange peel and peppercorns.

Palate – The texture though is wonderful and thick and sticky. The trademark Ben Nevis grapefruit spirit note is there and orangeade made with real sugar brings up a sweeter citric note to cut through the acidic grapefruits.

Finish – A sweet and sour finish with lots of length.

Final Thoughts

I asked for wood influence without overpowering the unique Ben Nevis spirit and that is what I got. I think though I prefer the more expensive version at 23 years but I wouldn’t pay the asking price for either of them really. Whisky is getting too expensive and it won’t change until we stop paying prices we aren’t comfortable with.

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