I was pleasantly surprised with the two new releases by Belgian bottler Brachadair, who previously treated us to some great single casks: Arran, Braeval, Clynelish, Laphroaig, Linkwood and Mortlach. His new releases are a very buttery Invergordon from 1972 and a sherried Ben Nevis from 1999. I present to you today the latter with great pleasure.
I was a bit taken aback with the first whiff, to be honest. Baby breath was the first thing that hit me. But that very quickly evaporated to offer op banana, brown sugar, sweet butter and a truckload of red fruit, with cherries in the lead. It is even a bit umami. After a few moments some more fruit emerges: peach, pineapple, caramelized oranges. It turns creamy and reminds me a bit of yoghurt. Very sweet and inviting.
The high ABV makes for a malt that is mouth coating and very spicy. Honeysweet on red fruit and apricots, upholstered with some peach and even dark chocolate. The spices are ginger, nutmeg and a lot of black pepper. Even some menthol dances on the tongue. Very pleasant and a tad sneaky. But it certainly does not need water (so I am not even going to try). Midpalate it turns somewhat drying and a small bitterness, as if from grapefruit, rears its head. Nicely balanced.
The finish is wonderfully long and spicy with a bittersweet touch at the death.
Hurray! Another very nice bottling by Brachadair. He does not bottle a lot (I think), but when he does, it is always a winner. This one has only just been released, so I am sure you can still get your hands on it. Recommended!