The Malt Mates, a Belgian whiskyclub, has secured its first club bottling! They got it from Jürgen Vromans – aka The Whisky Mercenary – who offered them a (part of) wonderful cask of Ben nevis 1996. It is 18 years old (so Jürgen must have already bottled this a while ago) and bottled at a whopping 51%.
The nose is an absolute bomb of sweetness. Think peach, banana, oranges (including the peel drenched in brown sugar), but also sweet roasted malt, nougat and vanilla custard. Some chocolate and some yoghurt. It reminds me a bit of babyfood, but on steroids obviously. This is a grand nose!
It is wonderfully oily and mouthcoating, creamy and picquant. Yes, feisty on pepper, ginger and a bit of cloves, but it also has some menthol in it. Nicely complex and sweet fruit (apricots!) with an edge of oak. Midpalate it evolves towards grapefruit with a bitter touch. Very nice!
This continues in the long, warm, bittersweet finish.
Wow, this is a big Ben Nevis. Quite an entrance, Malt Mates!