Select Page

The official Dram Association review of

Ben Nevis - Carn Mor 2015 PX Cask #12

"Pedro Meets Peat"

The official Dram Association review of

Ben Nevis - Carn Mor 2015 PX Cask #12

"Pedro Meets Peat"

Dram Code: S33
Producer: Ben Nevis
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Region: The Highlands

Whisky Type: Single Malt
Cask Type: Ex-PX Sherry Hogshead
Age: 3
ABV: 61.4%

Release: Single Cask - 1 of 290 (BC & AB Exclusive)
Price: $106.87 (at time of review)

Dram Code: S33
Producer: Ben Nevis
Bottler: Morrison & Mackay
Region: The Highlands
Whisky Type: Single Malt
Cask Type: Ex-PX Sherry Hogshead
Age: 3
ABV: 61.4%
Release: Single Cask - 1 of 290 (BC & AB Exclusive)
Price: $106.87 (at time of review)

92.57/100

Flavour Profile:
Smoky & Earthy

Visual: 4.83 /5
Aroma: 23.40 /25

Taste: 37.07 /40
Finish: 27.27 /30

92.57/100

Flavour Profile: Smoky & Earthy

Visual: 4.83 /5 Aroma: 23.40 /25
Taste: 37.07 /40 Finish: 27.27 /30

About This Dram

I’ve been excited about this one for a while now – and it’s finally finally here! This is a special release that is exclusive to BC and Alberta, from the folks at Rare Drams. It’s a Morrison & Mackay Carn Mor bottling of a young peaty whisky matured entirely in sherry casks. Does that sound familiar? Well, it probably should, as we’ve now had two of these and they were both absolutely incredible. In fact, drams T83 and T70 sit at 11th and 12th place overall with a score of 94.77 and 94.73. They were a Laphroaig and a peated Glenturret. Both rare and interesting yes… but buckle your seatbelts, because this is a stunner. Peated Ben Nevis. Oh yes!

So this may be only half the age of the last two, but that sherry cask must have been one of the most active Pedro Ximenez casks in Scotland! Honestly, I wouldn’t have personally left it in there any longer than the 3-4 years that it spent. It’s an absolute sherry bomb and came out at exactly the right time. You don’t even need to smell or taste it to find this out – the colour gives it all away for free.

Ben Nevis is a stunning coastal highland whisky that sits at the base of the UK’s highest mountain of the same name. It’s long been a whisky geek favourite and independent bottlings are rare and highly sought after. Especially since being bought by NIKKA in 1989, it’s been hard to find even any official bottlings. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one outside of the UK. They specialize in a spirit that is perfect for sherry casks – claiming that the use of brewers yeast and long fermentation times is the difference-maker.

The vast majority of the whisky produced is unpeated, using “Speyside-spec” malted barley. However, once in a blue moon they will distill a mash made with peated barley, made between 30-35ppm – the same level as Lagavulin. This is one of those unicorn distillations and part of a critically acclaimed set of casks that found their way to different independent bottlers and were sold in various markets across the globe. We here in BC are incredibly lucky to be on the receiving end of such a unicorn – and I hope that you are as excited as I am!

This whisky arrived first in Alberta – and took social media by storm, selling out quickly across many stores. It has only just now made it to BC, and we were the very first store here to receive any!

 

Tasting Notes

Sherry and spirit in perfect harmony. A rich cacophony of raisins, stewed rhubarb and malt spirit. The fact that it is cask strength is no secret to the nose, but I wouldn’t say it’s as spirity as I would expect from 61.4% and such a young age. Then, beneath the sherry, the peat makes its presence known. A little late to the ball, but dressed to impress. Notes of smoked tropical fruit and bacon waft through the air and make the mouth water.

The palate is essentially the same as the nose at first, but maybe a little sweeter if anything. The smoke is a little more on time, but the incredible PX notes from the cask are leading this dance. The two flavours are seemingly in an intense battle for your attention, but it’s all just part of an exquisitely choreographed ballroom scene. The drama of the whole thing might be a little too much – and water is your friend if you’re having trouble with the volume. After all, this is a feisty young thing. Would I drink again? Absolutely. Will I horde a few bottles away in my closet like a mad squirrel protecting their nuts? Maybe. Well, actually, probably.

by | Aug 6, 2019

Recent Dram Association Reviews

Read all about these whiskies, including Adam's notes and the official Dram Association group score!

How We Review Whiskies

Score

Whiskies are rated by our members on the visuals (out of 5), aroma (out of 25), taste (out of 40), & finish (out of 30). With a total score out of 100.

Based on how scoring occurred for our early reviews, the following guide is given to members -

0-60 awful • 60-70 bad • 70-80 okay • 80-85 good • 85-90 great • 90-95 awesome • 95+ amazing

The individual scores are collected, and outliers are removed via the "agreeable group" statistical method to reduce bias and taste preferences (ie, people who score a peated whisky lowly because they don't like peat). This gives us a better idea of the overall quality of the whisky in the eyes of our members.

 

Flavour Profile

Along with scoring the whisky, members are invited to choose up to three of the below flavour profiles which they think match the whisky. The profile that is most commonly chosen is then the official flavour profile for the dram.

fresh & floral
eg - blossoms, cut grass, apples, pears

fruity & spicy
eg - peach, vanilla, coconut, nutmeg

malty & dry
eg - breakfast cereal, nuts, cookies

rich & round
eg - raisins, figs, oak tannins, dates

smoky & earthy
eg - wood smoke, bacon, iodine

 

Dram Association Nickname

The nickname is usually given by the writer of the initial review and tasting notes. It is based on their tasting notes and used to refer to the whisky to keep its true identity hidden for those who enjoy blind tasting.