Ben Nevis 16yo sherry butt (Old Malt Cask) 50.0%

Ben Nevis 16yo sherry butt Old Malt Cask

This limited edition whisky had a run of only 714 bottles worldwide. The spirit was aged for 16 years. The liquid started ageing in 1998 and was released as a limited edition in 2014.

Appearance: Honey gold. Quite a thick swirl mark with plenty of teardrops as opposed to full-length legs at first but, given some time, several thin to medium trails eventually appear. Quite a sticky appearance on the glass.

Nose: A lovely sugary sweet and fruity aroma hits first. The 50% is carried very well too, I’d guess a lot lower. There’s a subtle black pepper note, like the finest of dustings.
Over-ripe orchard fruits and figs, and a chocolate/malt hum in the background add to the sweetness, but in a more mellow way.
Right towards the finish, there’s a faint vegetal element too. School dinners strawberry custard.
As the glass empties there’s a very wispy smokey aroma.

Palate: A decent oily mouthfeel and an initial spiced butter flavour. The icing sugar sweetness and orchard fruits come through too, consistent with the nose. The vegetal note is more evident on the palate, a better balance for the almost over-sweet element.
That black pepper hint is also still lurking in the background, adding another (subtle) layer to the dram. Red apple, that fig note, some eucalyptus and raspberry ripple vanilla ice cream.
There might even be a slight funk to the palate, that runs into the finish.

Finish: Short to medium in length. Funky and sweet, with that touch of spice in the form of black pepper.

Overall: There’s nothing not to like, to be honest, it’s a very friendly dram, especially given the ABV. If anything it’s over-sweet but I like sweet and fruity drams, so it suits me fine!
A few layers to explore and any other flavour/aroma elements are nicely balanced.

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