Lone wolf: Ben Wyvis

This will be my last blog until June, as I’m off to Campbeltown and then Islay for the festivities. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with my first and hopefully not last Ben Wyvis.

munro-madness.com says: ‘Ben Wyvis stands alone as an isolated mountian on the eastern site of the other northern hills [The Fannaichs], and with this isolation make it an excellent viewpoint of the region‘.


Built within the Invergordon grain distillery complex to meet the increasing demand for its blended whisky, the Ben Wyvis distillery operated for only 11 years before being dismantled, the related buildings subsequently demolished. Glengyle distillery received its stills.


Ben Wyvis 1968/2000 31yo SV cask #685 [btl #167/191 51% WB90.21[21] WF85 & WF[Angus]90 WM85[6]

Ben Wyvis 1968 31yo SV 685.jpg

  • N: I wish every whisky shared these kind of qualities. Let’s start with some descriptors that will, I’m sure, expand to more generalised and even emotional responses. Desirably bourbon-aged spirit with a farmy touch and honeyed tropical fruits galore – softly crystalised. After all those fruits we’ve sugar cream in the main, equalled by lemon sherbet [Nick], sweet hay, and later, a metallic/metal workshop note [Chris]. Reading Serge’s notes after making my own, his was a rather different experience, but for me it’s a great start.
  • T: Initially, no words, only joyful murmurs. Though the arrival is slightly edgy, there’s no denying the splendid age-soaked development that follows. After some forgiving prickles we get to reap the rewards of long & slow maturation from a superb bourbon cask. I wouldn’t say it’s salivating exactly, but with unmistakable brilliance, the dunnage-y, bourbon-honeyed golden barley juice simply flows. Such consolidated subtle richness [31 years in cask and 18 more in glass], provokes feelings that touch upon the imaginary realm most certainly.
  • F: Gently fades, seemingly to nothing – but wait! Subtle Bere barley & honeyed hay notes linger before the cleanest sweet & soft witch hazel finish.
  • C: Tasted around my piano before moving on to my very modest [6×4], warped snooker table [due to toast aromas from the kitchen – ideal conditions I tell you], my lasting memory of this whisky was less about specifics and more generally of a wonderfully memorable experience, helped in part by the rarity of the juice and even more so, the company, time & place.

Scores 89 points


[Many thanks to Nick for grabbing 3cl at Old & Rare from the Dornoch brothers].

Further reading:


On my return, I’ll be sharing my Feis Ile experiences as well as my new-found love of Mezcal!





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