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Auction: SC001 - Going the Whole Hogshead - Spink in association with Cask 88: Whisky - e-Auction
Lot: 5

Ben Nevis 2019

Distillery: Ben Nevis
Region: Highlands
Age: 2 years
Distillation Date: 27th September 2019
Cask type: Refill Bourbon Barrel
Peated?: Unpeated
Re-gauge ABV: 61.30%
Re-gauge Litre of Alcohol (RLA): 103.2 litres
New bulk litres: 168.4 litres
Re-gauge Date: 25th November 2021
Bottles: 240 bottles
Cask Number: 1081

Cask Description

The Wood

Ben Nevis only has one core product, a 10 year old matured in a mixture of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. This refill bourbon cask is similar to the ones used in the core releases and has held its strength extremely well after two years of maturation, still at 63.5%. The regauge strength and the expected bottles from this refill cask are both promising for a long term investment and the 10 year old is extremely highly thought of among whisky aficionados.

The Spirit

The distillation process at Ben Nevis Distillery is slow and steady. The distillery employs the minimum fermentation time (48 hours) and the result is a spirit which has a rich, ripe and chewy texture. Water is drawn from the Allt a Mhullin ( al - ta - voo - lin ), which originates from two pools of snowmelt - the Coire Leis and Coire na' Ciste - on the highest peak in Britain, and flows down through peat soil and granite giving it a soft character.

The Masters

Colin Ross is an icon within Scotch whisky production; inducted into the Whisky Hall of Fame in 2015, his career spanned over 55 years in the industry. He began in 1965 polishing the corridors at Strathisla with the lofty title of Assistant Manager.

"I started on January 2nd 1963, and I think they'd forgotten I was coming. The Manager opened his office store cupboard, my hopes rose, but he produced a giant tin of wax and left me to get on with it!"
Colin Ross, Ben Nevis Distillery Manager (2005)

The year this cask was filled was Ross's 30th year with Ben Nevis Distillery and his final: he retired just shortly after this cask was filled in the autumn of 2019. During his time at Ben Nevis distillery he worked tirelessly to promote the single malt brand and worked closely with his colleagues in Japan to ensure the highest quality of spirit was sent over.

The Verdict

At the time this cask was filled in 2019, around 75% of the spirit produced at Ben Nevis distillery was being shipped across to Japan for maturation and used by The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company in their portfolio. Japanese whisky law changed in 2021 to mirror the regulations of Scotch meaning that Ben Nevis spirit can no longer be exported for that purpose. This cask is an opportunity to purchase some of the last spirit filled by Colin Ross and, although young, this cask's re-gauge strength of 63.5% means that there is potential for long maturation to see Ben Nevis of an age that is rarely seen.