Celtic folklore is built upon a tradition of oral storytelling passed down through the generations; few tales have sent audiences to such restless sleep than that of the deathly bark of the Spirit Dog, known as the Cù-Sìth (pronounced Coo Shee).
A murderous hound of terrifying stature, with a dishevelled, braided coat, emanating an unearthly green glow, the Cù-Sìth patrols the remote Scottish hills and nests in the clefts of rock in the Highlands. During the darkness of night, it descends into the misty Glens to prey upon weary and lost travellers.
Catching scent of human prey, the Cù-Sìth sounds a bloodcurdling whine, an omen of death, leaving petrified every man or woman upon whose ears it falls. It is said that any soul who hears the wild dog bark three times will be transported by the Cù-Sìth far into the silence of the hills, into the underworld of demons and fairies, never to return.
The peaks of Scotland’s tallest mountain loom large over the Ben Nevis distillery where many may have fallen victim to the Cù-Sìth’s fearful bray. How many people have heard that howl and locked themselves away, reaching for a stiff drink to steady their nerves?
The region is home to another indomitable spirit, whose age also spans generations.
In the shadow of the highest mountain of the British Isles, we discovered the exceptional liquid that was to become the first expression in our series. After distillation in 1972, this whisky spent 45 years maturing in a sherry hogshead before being bottling in 2017.
The single cask expression yielded 228 bottles, a release which is sure to be sellout and become a highly sought collectible.
This whisky’s aroma instantly flaunts its forty-five long years of maturation. A nutty character alongside the rich sweetness of rum molasses are followed by luxurious notes of rich dark fruit and cherry.
The indulgent richness of this cask’s dark and dried fruit character continue on the palate, but with the balance of citrus zest. This develops with notes of dark chocolate journeying into a mixture of tobacco leaves, dried herbs and a subtle oakiness.
Four and a half decades maturing in a single cask provide an incredibly long and complex finish, dancing between bitter chocolate, dry tobacco and sweet cherries with cinnamon and winter spice.
A rare single cask whisky with an incredibly rich and developed character.
About Ben Nevis Distillery
The Ben Nevis distillery is nestled amongst the munros and corbetts of the Scottish Highlands, at the foot of the tallest mountain in the British Isles. It was here, forty five long years ago, that the heart of a clear spirit was collected from the copper stills and left to mature in a single oak cask. Over the many decades of maturation in the rich mountain air of the Scottish highlands, the spirit has interacted with the wood in which it was housed, developing deep colour, flavour and an unmistakably bold character. This is the single cask we chose to bottle and share with you to narrate the first story in our Scottish Folklore series.