2010 Ben Nevis 7 Year Old "Signatory" 1st Fill Bourbon Barrel Cask Strength Single Malt Scotch Whisky (750ml) SKU #1383232

Price: $59.99

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Tasting Notes

We've had an incredible history with Signatory and their exceptional managing director Des McCagherty. He's been an incredible resource for questions about the industry and consistently offered us exceptional stocks from their vast warehouses of top tier malt. Signatory has done a great job in the last few years of building stocks despite the incredible limits imposed on independent bottlers by distillers who covet their stocks like never before and refuse to release them in bulk as was once the norm. In order to acquire stocks you either need to pay top dollar, trade, or know somebody on the inside. It seems that our boy Des is doing all three. So we're back on the Signatory wagon and finding great stuff in a marathon warehouse tasting, but Des insists that we taste one more thing before we go. They've just finished new racking warehouses to help with the distillery expansion and they're starting to fill those up with purchased stock. The whisky Des had been giddy about all day was young Ben Nevis in fresh bourbon. I was shocked. Skeptical, I raised my sample glass to the thief and immediately knew why Des was so excited. They'd had a good day at the little distillery in Fort Williams in 2010. I'm not sure I've ever tasted a better young whisky, even considering the excellent young peaters we've come across over the years. This stellar cask was filled only 7 years ago but the elixir that's come out is liquid gold. An astonishing new look at one of our favorite distilleries.

Staff Reviews

  • Will Blakely
    By: Will Blakely
    K&L Staff Member
    At this price, a single barrel, cask strength Highland single malt is already a no-brainer. But considering the juice inside the bottle, this makes for a special treat. Right from the first sip, it features generous flavors of stone fruit and marmalade on brioche. Saline and roasted nuts add depth and contrast, painting a picture of a whisky that is both delicate and full-flavored. The ample spice and subtle herbal freshness make for an enjoyable and lingering finish. Each glass will have you asking, "what's the harm in another?"
  • David Othenin-Girard
    By: David Othenin-Girard
    K&L Staff Member
    Ben Nevis is quickly rising the ranks as one of the exciting distilleries on the market today. Partly that's because it was so unavailable for so long. Now tiny amounts of the distillery bottlings are trickling in and more and more of their exceptional stocks are showing up in the warehouses of our best suppliers. Nothing about this whisky made sense on paper, but it happened to be right next to the gorgeous Caol Ila that we'd just tasted and Des had been talking about these casks since I arrived. The fresh bourbon barrels had just been rolled in the their new warehouses and we simply opened the first in the line. What I expected was a funky feinty spirity young monster. What we get is this totally new expression of Ben Nevis. I don't know if it was a particularly perfect day at the distillery or this batch of casks just happened to sing, but few young highlanders in my ten years of tasting casks have tasted better. This ultra concentrated feeling of malt doesn't feel like it's old, but it certainly doesn't feel immature. Complex roasted vanilla tones soften the already supple malt and the active american oak meld into some sort of pear compote. A drop of water and the orchard fruit continues to expand with hints of mint, guava and coco. On the palate the darker roasted malt flavors come forward with tiny pithy plummy fruit balancing the whole thing perfectly. It's punchy and bold but one of the most fun young malts I've ever had. The future looks good for Ben Nevis if this is what they're going to be putting out.
  • Jackson Lee
    By: Jackson Lee
    K&L Staff Member
    For whatever reasons, Ben Nevis has flown under my radar in the world of Scotch but no longer. Signatory’s bottling of this young dram is very expressive and a damn good pour for seven years of age. The nose brought me back to my childhood (no, I wasn’t born with a bottle of Scotch in my hand) of going over to a friend’s house and getting to eat their sugary cereals that were banned by my parental units. Apple jacks cereal wafted from the glass, warm and inviting with a more brown sugary sweetness as opposed to a frosted one. There was also a light note of sherry that hovered around at the end of the whiff. For a young, cask strength whiskey I got a ton of flavor on the palate. Brown butter and lemon bar crust were first on the scene with cherry wood and sugar coated anise seed developing at the end. Great neat or could benefit with the addition of a few drops of water.
  • Andrew Whiteley
    By: Andrew Whiteley
    K&L Staff Member
    The quality of young malt can vary tremendously, but it is casks like this that open your eyes to why whiskies can be so successful at younger ages. This cask is perfect. It's full flavored, balanced, charming even. The oily nature of Ben Nevis melds with the richness of the first fill bourbon cask perfectly. Each one highlights the other's best qualities. The cask brings out inherent malty tones of the spirit. Baked shortbread cookies and cornbread sit pretty with the vanilla and baking spice of the bourbon barrel. It's amazing how 7 short years can make such a crushable whisky. Like all whisky, it's inherent "goodness" is a function of price as well as flavor. When you factor in the ludicrously low price, this whisky falls firmly in the territory of greatness.
  • Neal Fischer
    By: Neal Fischer
    K&L Staff Member
    This nose-tickler sports aromas of graham cracker, leather, gentle salt, peach, and apricot. The palate includes flavors of dried fruits, vanilla chews, stronger leather and oak notes than the nose offers, and it finishes with a pleasant flavor of cherry-menthol cough drops. Adding a little water to this cask strength whisky brings out additional flavors of cocoa and wood spice.
  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    I always have a bias when I see that a single malt is from Signatory because I know that it will be a high quality selection. The nose on this single malt cask selection is a joy to smell. It is an expressive and interesting mixture of dried fruit, savory, malt and spicy. In the mouth it is an wonderful continuation of the above themes with the savory, spice and malt flavors working well together. Don't be afraid of younger single malts because they can be a joy to drink.


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