I think at this point, rather than celebrating my overall numbers hitting a particularly high amount with many zeros, I may start trying to review something interesting when the specific regions hit a high amount.
Granted that could become extremely hard, so let’s just assume I did that for this recent 50th Highland Whisky review. Nothing to see here, just a smart reviewer who didn’t bungle his way to this point, move along.
I am a fan of odd casks used in whisky. Always have been, and always will be. The idea that whisky should stick to the Sherry and Bourbon casks it uses is silly, because it misses out on all the interesting spirits out there that could impart new and interesting flavours.
Port is a recent hit around here, what with Laphroaig and High West doing majestic as fuck whiskies with it.
And that’s why I bought a sample of Ben Nevis 10 2002 White Port pipe matured. I haven’t had the chance to try a Ben Nevis yet, and I know I enjoy the odd White Port, so this seemed like Kismet.
White port uses massive casks that aren’t typically used, probably because they are so big, would take longer for whisky to mature, and are used multiple time for port.
White port is a port that uses white grapes rather than red grapes.
So, let’s see how this kooky whisky tastes, shall we?
Price: N/A in Ontario
Cask #: 334
Number of Bottles: 710
Colour: 2/5YR 3/6
Nose: Caramel, lime, raisin, brown sugar, grapes, Honey Crisp cereal, nori
That’s odd. The Honey Crisp is a new animal. Also the 10 full years in the port cask has taken on some deep flavours.
And it’s the first time I’ve smelled Nori in a whisky. Surprisingly hasn’t come up in Japanese whiskies yet.
Taste: Honey, raisin, goji berries, wheat, ginger, passion fruit
This has a cereal element that I really do enjoy to it. Also a ton of fruit notes that really bounce out.
That said, while it’s unique, the complexity isn’t really there too much. Once you get past the sweet notes, it’s just a cereal whisky.
Finish: Oak, nutmeg, orange peel, dry, light apple, white grape
Dry, citrus finish. Not my personal favourite, your mileage may vary, however it’s again unique yet not too complex. Yet still really tasty.
Conclusion: I’d say this needed some more time in the cask to really start being out there. It’s right on the cusp of being that weird thing I was looking for. Tasty, true, and doesn’t turn into some weird port mess either.
I hope that Ben Nevis brings out another one, with more age to it. They probably won’t, however I think they have something interesting going on here, and a great start to it.
Scotch review #302, Highland review #50, Whisky network review #446