The nose opens with a whisper of pickle juice, thrown on a fire and evaporated–or perhaps 24-hour turkey brine cast into a buttered skillet. There’s also a note of nail polish remover misapplied to a boat: it failed to kill the barnacles, but it definitely scared them. After a bit, the nose presents a Janus-faced cantaloupe note. No, wait: hear me out: imagine one cantaloupe that got caught under the mechanism at a skeet-shooting range and has started to moulder. Now imagine a green cantaloupe that is tart and bright and sharp, but still far from sweet. Finally, imagine a competition-grade trebuchet set up to fire both melons off at once for the range’s in-house pro.
The mouth is spicy, with white pepper, attenuated chicken mole, a touch of Sherry, and a little heat at the end. But then we go back to the nose, and it’s even worse: we get mummy parts buried in a canister of used skateboard wheels. Aside from the many embalming fluids, we also find filbert skins coating a lemon. The nose here makes clear that the fact that Ben Nevis has caught on in recent years to become a thing among connoisseurs is really thanks to independent bottlers putting out other expressions of it.
The finish is long: it holds the pedal down on the piano and lets the note ring out in the cavernous concert hall. Meanwhile, Phil and Bert are separating the nutmeat of a filbert in the next room. This whisky clearly buys into the popular conclusion of Youngian analysis that it’s better to burn out than to fade away.
On the scale of Def Leppard facts–
The Ben Nevis 10 Year Old (previous era branding) is the fact that the band’s drummer, Rick Allen, lost his left arm in a car accident but went on to play drums for the band through its most successful commercial phase–The renewal phase Ben Nevis has enjoyed recently shares some strong parallels, though early Def Leppard never had so much to make up for.