1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years Review

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 18 Years Review

The label reads 1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years, but it’s actually 18. Distilled on October 21st 1996 and bottled in July of 2015, if they’d let it sit for about 3 more months it could have been bottled as a 19 year. But alas it’s just a misprinted 17 year… poor us 🙂

In Exclusive Malt’s Words: 1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years

“Ben Nevis Distillery, situated at the foot of, and named after, the highest mountain in Scotland, is a rather unique Highland Scotch Whisky. Brimming with thick malt and dense fruit flavours, it has long been sought after by blenders as their backbone for a high-class Scotch Whisky. This refill ex-Sherry butt has been maturing next to the distillery, untouched since 1996 and is a classy example of what this distillery can offer.”

Even though the distillery has been named the Ben Nevis distillery since its founding, it’s been listed / named by two other variations over the years. In some texts, older writings or references it’ll be called the Bennevis or Benevas distillery. The first one is quite obvious, but the second one a bit less obvious unless you say it out loud. A bit of trivia should you come across the reference in your own whisky journey. Now on to the 1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years review!

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years Info

Region: Highland, Scotland

Distiller: Ben Nevis
Bottler: Exclusive Malts
Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley
Cask: Refill ex-Sherry Butt
Age: 18 Years (Oct ’96 – July ’15)
ABV: 51.2%

Cask Strength | Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color

Barrel: 1464

Price: $120 (when it was available)

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years Review

EYE
Ruddy copper

NOSE
Dried berries, vanilla cake, malt, toffee, cocoa, spice, nuts, ash, dried citrus and a bit of copper. Water opens up more malt and cocoa and the “sherry essence” rises more.

PALATE
Heavy sherry essence with big notes of dried dark fruit, apricots, spice, malt, cocoa, nuts, ash, citric acid and a bit of copper. Water brings out richer sherry and dark fruit flavors along with a bit of peach gummies.

FINISH
Long wind down of sherry, fruit cake, spice and cocoa that fades to peach gummies.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Well balanced, full body and a rich thick feel.

OVERALL
I’m a big fan of this 1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 18 Years and no my score doesn’t include the fact that it’s mislabeled as a 17 year. It’s all about the amazing delivery of sherry and complexities that unravel with water and air. This is a whisky to take your time with which is something I don’t always get to do at Malt Nuts events where I reviewed a sister bottle of this that was freshly opened that night.

This bottle on the other hand has been open for a while and delivers on many levels. The aroma is a delivery of complex candy sweets and earthy notes while the palate leans a bit more into the fruity sweet profile with earthy notes to balance it out. The finish is nice, but it’s the least notable of the three. Keep an eye out for well aged heavily sherried Ben Nevis like this 1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years – they always seem to be good.

SCORE: 91/100 (A-)

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 18 Years Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 91
  • Palate - 90
  • Finish - 90
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 89

Summary

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 17 Years is awesome. I know it’s not available anymore but keep an eye out for other well aged sherried Ben Nevis.

1996 Exclusive Malts Ben Nevis 18 Years Label

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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