At first, there's fruitiness from the distillate (pears, bananas), creaminess (yoghurt, custard) from the - presumably ex-Bourbon - hogshead as well as really intriguing mineralic and waxy notes (slabs of slate, wax paper), which I would ascribe to long-term maturation. Everything is cloaked in the mustiness of damp old wood, yet it's not over-oaked. The liquid is nicely clingy and languid for 46%. This looks - and smells - promising. Displays an additional floral aspect when water is added.
Begins woody, musty and tart, then creamy sweetness, exotic fruits, a splash of lime and zingy white pepper appear; the latter elements keep it from turning stale. White chocolate at the death; lemon sherbet in the aftertaste. A mineralic dryness throughout, along with a waxy texture that I really enjoy.
This one is interesting enough to warrant buying a bottle in my opinion. It juggles a certain "inactive-cask austerity" with a well-aged, woody sumptuousness and retains enough of the Blair Athol fruitiness to keep things lively. Despite 29 years in the cask, this hasn't become bitter, which is an added plus. It may not be the epitome of complexity, but it's certainly interesting, and well worth the (original) asking price. If you enjoy Craigellachie 23, you'll also dig this.