Battlehill Ben Nevis 9yo
It was a skirmish...
Not many people know this, but next to whisky, I'm a big history fan.
So let's start this blog with some comments on the name of the range.
Duncan Taylor, an independent bottler, created a range of whiskies, named Battlehill after the hill close to Huntly. The place where Duncan Taylor is located.
Not a bad idea. If there is a great monument in your area, and you're creating a monumental range of whiskies, connect it to each other!
Battlehill is a 268 meters high hill next to Huntly, Scotland.
Although Duncan Taylor claims it is renowned for clan battles and even some fights with the Sassenach neighbours (the English) in the 16th century it most likely got its name from the "Battle of Slioch". Although there is a much older history to the hill.
Although the battle of Slioch had some importance in the first war of Scottish independence, it was no more than a skirmish that took place in december 1307.
A minor action between the more famous battles of Loudoun hill and Inverurie.
I could not find any references to more battles or clan clashes for this hill. (But not found does not mean they were not there!)
So what about the whisky itself. Is it worthy of the name battle? Or is it more like a skirmish?
This is a Ben Nevis, 9 year old whisky, finished in cognac casks. It is bottled at 46% and is unchillfiltered.
It has a beautiful color, almost a golden hue to it. Waltzing it in my glass, it leaves a clear thin line which transforms into thick legs and even some sticky drops.
On the nose: Vanilla, course vanilla that you use for baking. The hints of citrus, I would go towards those dried orange peels. Some hazelnut and dried berries. Almost like smelling fresh trail mix. Some caramel and even some straw. Some sultanas. It has the sort of smell that lingers a bit.
Taste: Fresh, a light spirity note, sultana's and plums. I got some dark chocolate. Maybe going towards chocolate fudge. A bit of white pepper and even some nutmeg.
Finish: A very nice lingering finish with hints of hay and oranges going towards bergamot. Hints of oak and and malt. Almost like a finish of a very nice IPA.
Conclusion: It is a battle! Not a skirmish!
I bought this bottle at Monk Whisky in Groningen. It is a store I would advise to visit when you're in the neighbourhood.