Single Malt Aficionados Club


Members of our buyers' club share an enthusiasm for the malt elixir in the most practical way, by saving time and money. No initiation or fees of any sort are charged. We simply ask that you undertake to remain in the club for the period of one year. As a club member you will receive a carefully selected, often unique bottling, complete with background information, shipped directly to your home or office every other month. The Single Malt Aficionados' Club is dedicated to seeking out and enjoying the rarest and most classic of truly aged malts, has a limit of $119.99, per shipment on the cost for the bottle itself.(Does not include tax and or shipping) That's it. No strings just pure enjoyment.

In June 2014 our members received: 

Ben Nevis 1996 Cask Strength, William Cadenhead Bottling.

This month’s selection comes from the Western Highlands, and probably not the distillery that you were thinking about. Ben Nevis is located in the outskirts of Fort William, Scotland and lies at the base of Great Britain’s highest mountain, also called Ben Nevis. Ben Nevis has long stirred the British soul as recorded by a whiskey traveler in 1887: "oh for a sight of ben nevis, methinks i see him now, as the morning sunlight crimsoneth the snow wreath on his brow; as he shakes away the shadows, his heart the sunshine thrills, as he towers high and majestic amid a thousand hills.” Ben Nevis Estate on which the mountain lies is now under the control of the John Muir Trust, a name that is well known to generations of Californians. John Muir was Scottish born and has made an impact on land preservation in both his ancestral home of Scotland as well as his adopted home of California.

            The history of Ben Nevis can be traced back to a few years after Parliament passed the “Excise Act,” the law that brought the century’s old proliferation of illegal distilling to a halt and ushered in the modern era of Scotch Whisky production. Ben Nevis was built in 1825 by “Long John” Macdonald, a very tall man at six foot four inches. The new distillery benefited from access to excellent water, as Macdonald wrote in 1827: “On Ben Nevis I was fortunate to find a constant and consistent source of pure clean water in two small lochans.” The water was gravity fed from two lochs located 3,000 feet above sea level. Macdonald considered water to be the most important element in the making of whisky followed by the influences of barley, yeast and the peet reek from kiln and water. John Macdonald’s stewardship of the distillery that he founded was short lived, the ownership transferred to his heirs within a couple of years. The homage to the founder lived on on every label; the distillery’s flagship product was named Long John’s “Dew of Ben Nevis.”

The Nevis distillery continued in the family for much of the next century until it was taken over by a Joseph Hobbs in 1955. Mr.Hobbs was a Scotsman who made his fortune in Canada and returned to Scotland and went on a whisky distillery buying spree. In a series of unfortunate events under his watch, he had installed concrete wash backs and a Coffey grain still, in order to produce both grain and malt spirits and blend them on premises. Thankfully these enhancements did not last, though the next few decades were not especially fantastic for Ben Nevis; the distillery was only open for two years within the 1970s and the 1980s. A modicum of regularity has been restored since 1989 when the Nikka Company of Japan took over the ownership of this storied distillery.

This month’s selection is brought to us by the Cadenhead bottlers. Distilled in 1996, it is 17 years old and bottled at cask strength. There are at the front aromas of apple pie joined later with notes of spiced sweet buns, clotted cream and orange marmalade. On the palate an orange bitter note is accompanied with more robust flavors of fresh hay, toffee, apples and lime zest. The finish brings marzipan and white pepper to keep the palate from becoming overly sweet.