McDonald's Celebrated Traditional Ben Nevis Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

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McDonald's Celebrated Traditional Ben Nevis Single Malt Scotch Whisky (700ml)

Speyside, Highlands, SCOTLAND
$120.00 Bottle
  • ABV 46%

A 'replica' Highland whisky and one of the smokiest Ben Nevis to date.

A distillery that’s garnered a quiet cult following, especially as its whiskies have become harder to find... Owned by Japanese giant, Nikka, it's no secret that Ben Nevis has been shipping large volumes to Tokyo for use in 'Japanese' blends - hence the lack of ten year old (rumoured to be discontinued) and the steady run of indie expressions to fill the vacuum.

This bottling looks like an indie, but it's actually direct from the source. Initially launched as a limited edition, the first McDonald's outturn amounted to roughly 700 bottles. It quickly sold out with demand far exceeding supply. Realising the label warranted a wider release, Ben Nevis followed through. And according to the blogosphere, many tasters prefer this bottling to the official Bennie 10.

Majority matured in Sherry casks (the remainder x Bourbon), reports have this to be at least 5 years old, but with material up to 13 years of age. Self described as an attempt to replicate the spirit produced at Ben Nevis in 1882, malt is sourced from Port Ellen Maltings on Islay (peated to around 35ppm) - which means this is smokey, but in an ashy/sooty way rather than a maritime way, and it's also non chill filtered. To reflect its heritage, the label is derived from an historic bottle in the distillery’s possession dating back to the 1880s. At that time, Ben Nevis was producing peated malt spirit under the directorship of Donald Peter McDonald (son of the famous Long John McDonald) for use in the then world famous 'Dew of Ben Nevis'. Typically it was bottled as a relatively young whisky. Putting it all together you get a faithful replica of an ‘old-Highlands’ style.

Tasting note: The beaming polished copper colour shows considerable legs. A thick, malty nose with attractive aromas of polished floorboards and damp cedar developing with fig jam, ripe apricot, hazelnut chocolate, soot and trace lanolin. Really dense. A chewy, oily delivery; lively spices fanning out with a burst of sooty peat. Drying, but keenly balanced with smoke and fresh oak rounding out the mid palate richness. A small amount of water draws out the latent fruitiness and sweetens the profile. Great stuff. Non chill filtered. 46% Alc./Vol.

Other reviews... Liquid Gold Award - 2014 Jim Murray's Whisky Bible