Ben Nevis 2011 10 Year Old, Infrequent Flyers Cask #2345 & Allt-A-Bhainne 2005 16 Year Old, Infrequent Flyers Cask #805181


Today we’re looking at a pair of releases from batch 10 of the Infrequent Flyers releases.

Ben Nevis 2011 10 Year Old, Infrequent Flyers Cask #2345

Region: Highlands

ABV: 57.9%

Price: £71.00

First up we have a 2011 Ben Nevis that was bottled in 2022 after a finishing period in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Hogshead. The outturn was 297 bottles.

Nose

Initially we’re getting some cherries, blackcurrant cassis, and red jelly babies. Going back to it and there’s a spicy ginger note, along with candied almonds, and a hint of prunes. The colour would imply this was going to be a big hit of sherry, but it’s not as bold on the nose as we were expecting. Not that this is a negative, we’re still big fans of the nose.

Palate

This opens with a burnt toffee and Caramac. After this we’re getting bitter coffee with brown sugar, Amaretti biscuit and milk chocolate. It’s got a nice warming finish with some pepper and chilli heat lingering. Along with it there’s some unbuttered toast and digestive biscuits. It’s got a good mouthfeel, and the finish in sherry has been long enough we wouldn’t have guessed it wasn’t full maturation.

Nose (with water)

Water has diminished the fruitier notes, but concentrated the other notes like toast and candied almonds. There’s now some milk chocolate, along with some treacle, and Tozzetti biscuits. We prefer the nose without water, but definitely recommend you try it both diluted / undiluted to make your own mind up.

Palate (with water)

Water brings out more sweetness and the bitter coffee note has disappeared. The Caramac has turned into caramel sauce, and we’re also finding a hint of orange peel. It retains its good mouthfeel with some of the heat from the finish being diminished leaving some white pepper on a good length finish.

Conclusion

Like the nose, we personally prefer the palate undiluted, but wouldn’t be surprised if the opinions are split. It’s a delicious sherried Ben Nevis and it only costs £71. It’s an easy 8/10, and just missed getting an 8.5 from us. Sadly sold out now, but if you did get a bottle crack it open and you won’t be disappointed.

Score: 8/10


Allt-A-Bhainne 2005 16 Year Old, Infrequent Flyers Cask #805181

Region: Speyside

ABV: 62.3%

Price: £101

This infrequent Flyers release was distilled in 2005 and bottled in 2021 after a finishing period in a Pedro Ximenez Sherry Puncheon. The outturn was 634 bottles.

Nose

The nose is a little closed off, and we’re not getting a massive amount of sherry influence... which is odd because this absolutely looks like a sherry bomb. There’s a little fruit in the form of apricots, but that’s about it. There’s some cold butter, crumble mix that’s been sprinkled with brown sugar and caramelised. Some chocolate, leather and a hint of ethanol in the background.

Palate

Initially we’re getting some sherry vinegar, and bitter dark chocolate. There’s a lot of chilli spice / alcohol bite on a good length finish. Going back to it and there’s some pink grapefruit juice, and brown sugar. It’s got a good mouthfeel, and some will no doubt love this, but the vinegar note and alcohol bite puts us off a little.

Nose (with water)

With water we’re getting a syrup sweetness like treacle, and golden syrup mixed together. The ethanol note is still there and we’re now getting some apple cider vinegar. It’s developed a savoury meatiness that reminds us of a beef mince our mum would make us as kids.

Palate (with water)

Water has definitely improved the palate. It’s brought the savouriness of the dram to the fore and reduced the alcohol bite to something more palatable. While it still has a good length finish, there’s also a bit more bitterness now from the grapefruit. We’re also getting some cardamom lingering on the tongue.

Conclusion

We’re sure some people will love this, but we’ll openly admit we were disappointed we didn’t get the big sweet sherry bomb we were looking for. We can appreciate this, but for us it’s just not our flavour profile and we won’t be running out to get a bottle. Best we can do is a 7/10.

Score: 7/10

  • 10 - Perfection. A whisky that we’ll remember forever.
  • 9 - Amazing. We’d pay through the nose for a bottle.
  • 8 - Great. Pick this up at RRP.
  • 7 - Good. Happy to have a dram or two but wouldn’t buy a bottle.
  • 6 - Passable. Would accept a dram, but wouldn’t seek it out.
  • 5 - Poor. Would drink if it was the only option.
  • 4 - Bad. Maybe it can be saved by ginger beer?
  • 3 - Awful. It can't be saved by ginger beer.
  • 2 - Pour it out
  • 1 - We’ve never tried a whisky rated this low and hopefully never will.

    Interested in trying drams like these? We've created the Two Whisky Bros Dram Club to help you get access to high quality, rare whisky by the dram.

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