Ben Nevis 2010 (The Duchess)

“The Beauty and the Yeast”

Whisky Review # 1012

Country: Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿
Region: Western Highlands
Brand:Ben Nevis - Distilled: October 28, 2010
Matured and Bottled by: The Duchess (TDu) on November 30, 2020 
Series: Game & Wildlife Series - Shelduck Label
Type: Single Malt Single Cask Scotch Whisky - Cask # 1800020 - Bottles: 317
Age: 10 Years
Alcohol By Volume (ABV): 56.6% (Cask-Strength)
Maturation: Ex Bourbon Cask with Shiraz Cask Finish
Chill Filtration: No
Price: Around US$ 100 (March 2024)
Price/Quality Ratio: 😕 Borderline acceptable
Buying Advice: 😐 Interesting - But better try a sample first


Golden with shades of Orange (Natural Colour)


Young and quite Yeasty. The Alcohol is prominent. Sour rather than sweet. Clear note of freshly cut Grass. The Wine-Finish is noticeable but not overwhelming. A bit Musty and Dirty as well. The Nose is certainly interesting. 

Main Aromas:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Assorted Breads/Pastries, Sour Cherries, Strawberry-flavored Yogurt, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Metal, Chalk, Pepper, Damp Cellars and Tobacco.   

Supportive Aroma Accents:

Vanilla, Slightly Burnt Buttered Toast, Sour Red Wine, Unripe Apples, Bananas and Pears, Slivovitz, Charred Oak, Soot, Dusty Track, Coconut, Leather, Cinnamon and Cloves.


The Palate is a Hot mix of Sweet, Bitter and Sour notes. It remains Yeasty as well. I really think this needs some Water! It remains different though.

Main Flavours:

Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough and Bread, Grass, Lemon, Grapefruit, Sour Red Wine and Red Berries, Dried Herbs, Charred Oak, Soot, Pepper, Aniseed and Licorice. 

Supportive Flavour Accents:

Vanilla, Varnish, Green Apple, Dirty Track, Ginger-Nut Biscuits, Cinnamon, Cloves & a little Plastic. 


Quite Long, Bitter-Sweet-Sour & a bit Hot. Quite Tannic as well. The Alcohol remains very present and the influence of the Red Wine cask is more noticeable at this point. I find Toasted Barley, Yeast, Dough, Bread, Sour Cherries and Red Berries, Green Apple, Bounty Bars, Tutti Frutti, Menthol, Dusty Oak, Pepper, Cinnamon and Cloves, Floral Soap, Citrus, Dried Herbs, Licorice & Varnish. A little Dry towards the end.

Drinking Advice:

I added a bit of Water & that helps calm down the strong Alcohol. Don't overdo it though! On the Nose you get some additional Floral notes and the Palate certainly brings back memories of Campbeltown. In this case I would advise to add a bit of Water. 

Rating: 7.5 (*******1/2)

Nose: 7.5 - Taste: 7.5 - Finish: 7 

*** Important Note with respect to Rating.

If the Final score is above 8 you can safely buy the whisky in question if and when it fits your Aroma/Flavor profile. If the score is between 6 and 8 you might want to try it out in the form of a sample or if offered at a good price. Anything below 6 should be left alone when you are looking for a nice sipping whisky. You might still like it of course & I realize pricing is an important item for many whisky fans especially when you are used to enjoy whisky in a cocktail or a mixed drink.

Drinking Experience Neat: Interesting 

Ben Nevis Distillery was founded in 1825 by Long John MacDonald and is located at the foot of the famous Ben Nevis Mountain, close to Fort William (Inverness-Shire). Since 1989 it is owned by the Nikka Whisky Distilling Co.Ltd (Asahi Breweries). Some of its Malt is used in Blends like Dew of Ben Nevis, Glencoe and some Japanese Blends. The annual production currently amounts to around 2 million liters.

This Dutch impression of Ben Nevis is certainly intriguing. It kept my attention right to the end as it significantly differs from the modern mainstream malts. I do feel though that the ABV is way too high here. It distracts from the Whisky rather than enhancing its profile. This is not your everyday dram as it's extremely Yeasty and I would advise you to buy a sample first before spending a hundred bucks on a full bottle. But it's dirty and interesting and that's a plus in today's whisky world.

Cheers 🥃

Jan van den Ende                                                                          March 1, 2024

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