Today we're doing a comparison of two 8 year old Ben Nevis bottlings from Dram Mor. It's rare to get the same distillery, age and bottler together for a comparative tasting so we're looking forward to this one!
Dram Mor Ben Nevis 8yo cask #2084
This bottle was released to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of Spirits Castle, a Singapore based importer / online shop. It’s an 8 year old that had been finished in a first fill white port cask. We've not seen many white port casks, and we're quite a fan of the wine, so this really piqued our interest.
Initially we’re getting some cranberry, a little strawberry daiquiri, Turkish delight, orange, ginger, and nail varnish. Air reveals some oats that remind us of granola. There’s also a hint of caramel in the background.
It’s sweet on the palate with a dominant note of custard cream biscuits. We’re also getting caramel and sugar syrup. It’s just very sweet... almost verging on too much. Giving it some air and we find it’s become more fruit forward with orange peel, cherries, and dried cranberries. It has a good length finish and we think this this is one of those drams that has been bottled at the perfect ABV to give it just the right alcohol bite.
Nose (with water)
With water it gains a mustiness that’s very reminiscent of the smell you’d experience if you were sticking your nose into a wash back. There’s also now less fruit, with more synthetic candy cane sugar showing.
Palate (with water)
Like the reduced nose we’re getting less fruit and more sugary sweetness. It’s gained a digestive biscuitiness along with some almonds. The mouthfeel is now a touch disappointing, and there’s a gingery spice on the finish that wasn’t on the unreduced palate.
It’s easy drinking at this ABV, and holds up well with and without water. Personally, we would happily drink a few drams of this. However, it’s a touch expensive for an 8yo and as such we can’t give this anymore than an 7.5/10.
Dram Mor Ben Nevis 8yo cask #137
This release was bottled 23rd of September 2021. It’s also an 8yo that has had an undisclosed finishing period in a 1st Fill Palo Cortado cask.
To be honest we’re not getting a great deal on the nose. There’s some warm butter, old spice aftershave, and a little chilli. Trying again and we’re also getting some Cadbury’s milk chocolate, red fruit, and honey. That’s about it. It’s just a very tight nose.
Another very sweet dram. It’s like we’re drinking a gooey caramel sundae. Again it’s a really good ABV that’s very easy drinking. Taking another sip and there’s some raspberries, cinnamon and raisins. Again this has a really good mouthfeel.
Nose (with water)
Like the port cask, water reveals that same washback mustiness. We’re also finding that the chilli spice has disappeared, and been replaced by a treacle like sweet note. Even with water this is still a little tight.
Palate (with water)
Initially we’re finding this is now a very sweet flat ginger ale. After air we find that it’s also gained an earthy note along with some truffle oil. The finish is now medium length with a good mix of sweetness and a little heat. While water hasn’t ruined this, we recommend this without any H2O.
Dram Mor have impressed us recently, and both these drams are no different. They’re really interesting and if you’re happy to £75 for an 8yo then you won’t be disappointed. However, like the port cask above we find this a touch expensive.
- 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.