Taste: McDonald’s Traditional Ben Nevis Malt Whisky

I really love old bottles of whisky not only from a taste perspective but their actual appearance. A little research throws up some wonderfully striking images and font sizes from bygone times. Part of the appeal of the current vogue for resurrection old malts is taking inspiration from the original packaging; back when things were simple and the bottle contents mattered more. And so it is the case with the McDonald’s celebrated Traditional Ben Nevis malt whisky. I’m actually not sure from the outer packaging what to call it as there is a barrage of labels!

Clearly this is a product of Scotland, being distilled and bottled there are no doubts from the box. Also highlighted is the fact that this is specially selected and matured stock. Extracted from pure malt only, guaranteed of uniform age and quality. Being approximately 6.5 bottles to the gallon. If you are looking for this bottle then shop around as some online retailers are asking nearly £70, which is about £30 more than I paid in the distillery shop.  Ok , yes, it should be cheaper direct, but this evening there does seem to be a massive range on pricing across several retail outlets. For around £40 this is a great purchase.

I’ve written about this bottle in more depth right here and we’re now onto the contents within also known as the most important bit!

Colour: A well oiled oak
Nose: Peat, a citrus note with oranges and limes plus a strong sense of Danish oil. 
Mouth: A rich bitter dark chocolate, more peat which shouldn’t be a surprise given the heavily peated barley. Even at 46% this packs a rich, thick charred taste, with a prolonged finish almost coffee-like ending.

Verdict: No water required here. Perfect at 46% and a dram that leaves a lasting impression even more so given the young ages of the malts chosen. With all these historical recreations recently in the blend genre, this malt ups the knock out factor another notch. I prefer this bottle to the staple Ben Nevis 10 year old which frankly is a decent bottle yet this Traditional has more to say. Initially launched as a limited edition, Ben Nevis realised that the McDonald’s Traditional warranted a widespread release and duly obliged. Be thankful. 


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