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Ben Nevis 10 Year Old

Average score from 7 reviews and 19 ratings 80

Ben Nevis 10 Year Old

Product details

  • Brand: Ben Nevis
  • Bottler: Distillery Bottling
  • ABV: 46.0%
  • Age: 10 year old

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Ben Nevis 10 Year Old

I'll keep the blab to a minimum, there's not many OB options for Ben Nevis around, most is sold off to brokers or sent over to Japan to undergo a special alchemy that will have it become Japanese whisky.

A couple of years ago we we're given a glimpse of the composition of this whisky when the stocks of refill ex-bourbon & sherry cask they normally use for this whisky we're low, they then decided to put out a cask strength version using first-fill bourbon, sherry & wine casks. How often do you hear that?? that a company's policy is refill wood first, totally against the times.

Nose: Inky, newspaper, gravel, dirty pralines. waxy orange peel, that kind of nutty/walnut thing you get with some sherry but turned up. Light oak, light smoke. It's very grimy, like old engine oil and dirty cement basement.

Palate: Sharp, malty, oily, slightly hot and dirty, dried apples, toffee, walnut liqueur, plum eau-de-vie, a touch of juniper and ham.

Finish: Mustard fruits, tannic, dried figs and milk tea.

Notes: This is a totally uncommercial type of malt, you could definitely imagine this is more commonly what Highland malt whisky was like pre-WWII or something of the sort. Another Scottish whisky that is evocative of the place it was made, on par with other 10 yr olds like Springbank, Benromach or Talisker. I'd be cheeky and lump in Lagavulin 8 in there too.

@OdysseusUnbound I know these type of tasting notes sound totally unappealing to a lot of folks but I tend to lean in when I hear that. Doesn't mean I'll always enjoy it but guaranteed to be an experience.

A mood whisky but when you're in the mood it's something

@cricklewood Absolutely. “Inky” and “Newspaper” piques my interest as well. I’ve tried a few Springbanks that are definitely mood whiskies, and when one is in the mood, they hit the spot.


I must confess I had a soft spot for this distillery long before I began really appreciating the liquid gold. We went to Fort William a few times as kids on family holidays and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the breath-taking views from the summit of Ben Nevis (the tallest mountain in the British Isles, if you didn’t know) on more than one occasion. I’ve walked past the distillery and remember thinking it looked intriguing but didn’t enter. I’ve camped with mates and ex-girlfriends (not together, mind) in the glen and have to say that it is a part of the world where the mood and beauty has a little place in my heart and soul. Well, that’s all very romantic, and perhaps rather nausea inducing, so let’s get on to what we’ve all come here for, the whisky.

Needs just a drop or two of water to get this one singing for me and take out the worst of the rougher edges - it's fine neat though and perhaps more enjoyable depending on my mood. Bottle’s been open about two weeks and is just past the neck.

Nose – Immediate impression of old, well-integrated sherry, mild salt and a hint of peat. It has a gingery bite, is mildly leathery, heavily malty, oily and yeasty (not a note I get a lot - ale like, even). Seems quite young but with elements of older maturation in there. Some fruity citrus notes too. It fills the room with a heady malt presence similar to how Ardbeg floods it with peat. Punchy and bold - ‘proper whisky’.

Taste – Toffee and sherry (old – 2nd or 3rd fill perhaps? Certainly not 1st fill), heavy lemony malt. Nutty with some herbal touches and a slightly industrial note (as in metallic), some wood char, old oak but not overly bitter, with the oiliness coming through on the palette. Quite dry as it develops. Good stuff and moreish

Finish – Quite long, spicy (ginger and pepper mainly) and that slightly salty, peaty tang.

Big, bold ‘old skool’ sherried whisky that isn’t graceful or refined but it works so well, and seems to offer something that distilleries like Benromach and Springbank do – a kind of uniquely ‘old-time’ feel which I really dig. It feels like the kind of whisky my Granddad would have enjoyed drinking - it's the Wild Turkey 101 of the Scotch world, if you will. The finish is especially big and reminds of that Talisker peppery thing. I like this a lot and it makes me want to save a bit of cash to get an older bottling for my 40th next year. In Ben Nevis I think I’ve found a distillery that really scratches my whisky itch!

@OdysseusUnbound - I don't think I'm particularly sensitive to sulphur but there's definitely no 'bad eggs' coming off of this. Maybe a hint of old match box perhaps?

An Old skool, proper whisky indeed. The single malt equivalent of a really good old time blend. Nice review, thanks.


I've had this bottle open a couple of months now, but haven't been hitting it hard. Preferring to finish a few other bottles I had open off first. There's about 2/3 of the bottle left. I knew as soon as I opened it, it was good.


Nose - some grapefruit, porridge oats, white wine vinegar and demerara sugar.

Palate - big arrival, quite solventy. Rice wine, lemon juice, barley sugar and fisherman's friend's (british cough sweet that I hate but its quite nice in this). Quite malty. A thick viscous mouth feel.

Finish-long with a hint of peat and finishes quite dry and salty.

With water-I get some pineapple on the nose and the finish is more mellowed, but shorter.

I don't think water helps this malt. It's an unashamed bruiser and water tames it a bit.

I would describe this as a good old fashioned scotch. But I've never drank a good old fashioned malt, so it would be a lie. But it's how I imagine whisky was 30 years ago.

Closest comparison I can think of is Benromach 10. The 100 proof stuff that beats you up a bit. It's quite similar to that, which is a good thing because that is an excellent whisky for the price too. Not an easy drinking malt. If you gave this to a whisky newb you'd turn them onto gin.

I'll definitely be getting another bottle when I've finished this one.

" If you gave this to a whisky newb you'd turn them onto gin. I'll definitely be getting another bottle when I've finished this one." Ha ha, love this laughing

We were just on our way out of Fort William and stopped to fuel up the car. My wife said "is that a distillery over there?" and there was Ben Nevis right across the street. I didn't ask for a taste as I was driving, so took a chance on a couple of miniatures of the 10. Have to agree with your review @Wierdo. It's a bit different alright, but I very quickly regretted not buying a bottle.


To be perfectly honest I don't really know any thing about Ben Nevis. I didn't even know it was the highest mountain in all of the British Isles. I didn't know the distillery was named after it. I didn't even know it sat at it's foothills.

I only bought this 10 year old because I thought the label looked cool. In my defense that was over four years ago and that's more time than it takes Amrut to lose half it's spirit so that should give you some perspective.

I visited their website and the first thing to greet you is a wildly hilarious video about a Scottish giant named Hector McDram (you can't make this stuff up) who takes you on a journey through the Western Highlands. If you have ten minutes and a sense of humour I highly encourage watching it.

Other than the 10 year old they also have a smattering of blends under the name Dew of Ben Nevis.

Basically this has been sitting under my radar for a long time and I finally got around to giving it a whirl. There's not a lot of literature about this expression but it seems like it's been finished off in European Sherry. My sample is from a brand new bottle and served at 40%

Toffee. Lots of bourbon. Milk sweets. Walnuts. Vanilla. Fudge. Chocolate. Dates. Green tobacco leaf. Toasted oak. Orange marmalade. Touch of peat. Coffee. Perfectly decent nose. Quite good, in fact. I like being pleasantly surprised because this could have gone either way. 22/25

Medium bodied. The delivery is a little weak - 40% ? Chocolate. Bourbon. That touch of oak again. Cinnamon. Black pepper. Dates. Nuts. Touch of bitter chocolate. Mild peat. Again, not bad. Decent. 21/25

Long. Dry. That oak again. Cinnamon. 21/25

So what do I think? Yeah, why not? I like it. I think if I go back to it I might like it even more. It has something just a touch unusual to give it an edge.



Mooie feinty whisky met hints van graan, groente loof fruit postbode oud hot sherry, maar dus vooral biscuit. Zachte smaak met een kling en een vrij lange finish

I really don't realize that it wasn't common. In ratebeer are reviews in different languages. Yes it's dutch and feinty isn't dutch it's used from your language. Perhaps i will go for english in the future. Still i'm thinking wether i go to connosr, i really like it but i would like to put in all my past tastings and my cabinet. I allready started this in whisky companion when i discovered connosr. What i really would like here is a android app and perhaps a tasting wheel. I really like your comment and i am curious what other people think of it

LOL - that's a SORT of Dutch, but not quite :-D Are you South African, Boomkweker? I'm fluent in Dutch but this here is gibberish to me:

"groente loof fruit postbode (er??!) - "oud hot sherry" and "kling" (???)

Perhaps you can expand, thanks!


Not subtle or especially complex but very enjoyable. A real bruiser of a malt with no punches pulled.

Nose: Smoked malt, barley, cereals and peat. Taste: Rich malty flavours with smoke balanced by sherry sweetness. Very robust whisky full bodied.
Finish: Long dryer finish in which the smoke and sherry notes linger underpinned by peat

That has to be the highest I've seen anyone score this. Ben Nevis is a bit of a Marmite amongst Whisky - you either love it or hate it. I like thick, in-your-face whisky with an edge, so I may find the same appreciation of it as you do.

I've enjoyed most of the older independently bottled Ben Nevis expressions, but haven't tried this OB yet - your review makes me want to though.


The Ben Nevis 10 Year Old looks dated in the bottle; the design is the epitome of kitsch, with the torn-paper label and faded watercolour painting on the bottle. I, however, found this endearing.

It is a mid-golden-brown in colour with a low-mid viscosity in appearance with a lack of 'legs' forming in the glass.

I have had a bottle of this around for about two years, but I have never been able to place a number of aromas on the nose. Today I decided to persevere, so here are my thoughts.

The nose is somewhat muted to begin with; musty with shredded paper, rubber and a faint note of plasticine. It isn't the most complex of noses, but there are apples and rhubarb crumble with custard (or cream, they're both there separately) in the background. There is also a perfumey note somewhere in that, Old Spice, perhaps? There is something vaguely unpleasant about the aroma as a whole, a bit like the smell of damp in an empty house being warmed through by a coal fire - a little sulphur is detectable. There's a feint, almost unnoticeable odour of extinguished sparklers.

There is fire on the palate, both in flavour and sensation... which isn't something I expect for a 46% abv. Smoke and bonfire/cinder toffee come through with, but the burn is so long that only the end elements of the palate are able to be picked up. There are apples and cream again, with strawberry 'millions' and sherbet. Walnuts and porridge oats are also detectable. There is a little liquorice towards the end, leading into the finish.

The mouthfeel is dry and cloying, the finish is long, woody and soft. There's an oaky cream with cigar smoke left behind for quite a while. It does end rather bitter, though.

With water (just a drop - for review purposes only) the nose flattens down and loses lot of the pleasant aromas. The sulphurous notes pick up, along with ammonia. The nose is much sharper, somehow, and buns the nostrils a little. Thee are still nuts and cereals, but with a mouldy hint. Again, there is something perfumed, but more floral this time, more Chanel No. 5 than Old Spice, but it is feint and hidden at the back.

The palate is more agreeable, with the previous burn gone and replaced by marzipan and mixed peel. There's a damp log fire and heavy oak; a much more enjoyable smoke. The walnuts are now Brazil nuts and much more 'meaty', with mixed spice and fudge.

The finish is also flattened with water and the bitterness fades away leaving only oak behind, but still for a while.

There is a trade-off with this whisky, at the original 46%, it is sharp and aggressive; often unpleasant. With water, many of the flavours are dampened or missing altogether, you have a more aggressive nose, but you don't have such a problem with the chemicals on the palate.

Overall, this is a right-mood dram for me. Certainly nothing special and not at all refined, but it has a certain something that suits it to the cold wintry nights... as these start drawing in, this might come out more often... or maybe I'll just go for the Ardbeg.

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