Saturday, February 6, 2016

Whisky Review: G&C Pearls of Scotland Ben Nevis 18 Year 1997/2015

Gordon & Company, not to be confused with Gordon & Macphail, is another independent, family owned blender and bottler in Glasgow that releases single casks under the Pearls of Scotland label.

This whisky was distilled in May 1997, filled into a hogshead (judging from the outturn), and bottled in May 2015 at 50.9% without coloring or chill filtration.

I bought two samples from the WhiskyBase Shop to try this one, as they had a number of different Ben Nevis samples available at the same time.

G&C Pearls of Scotland Ben Nevis 18 Year 1997/2015 Cask #614

Nose: malty, almost sherried, savory vanilla, a little green, incense/perfume, gingerbread, sour. After adding a few drops of water, it becomes flatter and more malty, plus the vinous notes are replaced with woody orange peel.

Taste: big woody sweetness throughout, almost sherried in the middle, malty fadeout with floral vanilla. After dilution there is more vanilla and sweetness, plus almost smoky oak comes out.

Finish: lime peel, oak, malt, savory

While there's nothing overtly wrong with this cask, it doesn't really hit the notes that I'm looking for from Ben Nevis. The best thing I can say is that its a competent malt. Unlike the Archives bottling, there are no glaring flaws that jump out at you, but unlike the Exclusive Casks bottling, there's not a lot going on. It's just pleasant and easy drinking. So while it's reasonably priced given it's age, I'd need it to get into 'great value' territory before I pulled the trigger. Still, if this is something that sounds good to you, it's still available, unlike the Archives cask.

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