Behind the twenty-third window of That Boutique-y Whisky Company’s 2019 Advent Calendar we will be reviewing each day until the 24th of December was hidden a second dram from a distillery covered earlier in the calendar, a Ben Nevis 21yo batch 8, bottled at 48.9% abv by that Boutique-y Whisky Company. The distillery, as said in the review of the 23yo dram hidden behind the 13th window of the advent calendar, has been built near and named after Ben Nevis, the highest mountain of the British Isles, standing at 1,345m (4,411 ft) above sea level. Its Scottish Gaelic name, Beinn Nibheis, means “Venomous mountain” or “mountain with its head in the clouds” depending on which etymology you consider for the word Nibheis. First ascended in 1771, Ben Nevis now attracts 100,000 ascends a year. The summit, the collapsed dome of an ancient volcano, hosts the ruins of an ancient observatory which was continuously staffed between 1883 and 1904. The outturn of this 21yo batch 8 was 931 bottles, and it’s still available on Master of Malt for £147.95.
Coldorak: The nose is rich, with toffee, dried fruits (sultanas, figs), and spices. Some dark chocolate gives a gourmand touch with an espresso and some wood varnish in the background.
Ainulindalë: Fresh apples and pears, ripe and juicy, served with Lebanese pastries, honey and orange blossom water. Behind that a small rosebud is making itself very quiet along with a buttery vanilla. A very good nose!
Coldorak: Sweet arrival with a waxy mouthfeel. Spices like cinnamon and ginger give you some warmth but without being aggressive. Dark fruits, dark chocolate, some orange, some leather notes, maybe also tobacco leaves from a cigar, and a touch of vanilla.
Ainulindalë: It starts off with oak and vanilla and slowly climbs up the warmth scale going through orange, apples, clementines, bananas, all mixing smoothly into each other, all very well arranged in my humble opinion. Reminds me of a fruit salad seasoned with custard. Very fruity, very rich, not thick or sirupy nor thin and watery.
Coldorak: Slightly drying, with a warmth staying long on the throat and the tongue. Loads of dark chocolate (don’t tell my kids) and oranges.
Ainulindalë: It finishes medium length, on the alcohol tinge and clementines, oranges and watermelon with a background of oak. At its very end, as if it was a signature, a small whiff of rosebud.
Coldorak: This is one of the best drams of the calendar, and even better than the 23yo Ben Nevis tasted a few days ago. This whisky is whole, gourmand, warm and luscious, perfect for the Christmas season. Veeery good.
Ainulindalë: This is an excellent dram. Fruity, rich of flavours, without being overpowering in any of them. It mixes things masterfully. I’d order a bottle, definitely. Should I say more?