The spirit is strong with this dram! After 17 years in the cask, this one retains a lot of freshness and youth, but the roughness has been polished off by the wood, just how it should be. A profile I quite like and thus I’m happy with my name ending up on the label.
Initially, a touch of alcohol then a warm, malty and fruity nose develops with touches of floral honey and vanilla. Hints of earthy farmyard and dusty barn. Ripe red apples or peaches and a hint of acetone solvent. Light oak. With water, a change occurs giving some maritime notes with salt breeze, old fish-boxes and a hint of smoke. The change in nose is quite dramatic and pleasing, making the addition of a touch of water a worthwhile endeavor!
Initial taste is very malty and coats the inside of your mouth with an oily and smoky mouthfeel. There is more smoke than the nose suggested. Some spiciness appears next, usual suspects white pepper and a hint of cinnamon. Ripe fruits, peaches and nectarines. With water, the spiciness recedes a little and we get some herbal notes appearing
Medium finish with lots of spices and an astringent, mouth drying quality.
This is a nice dram but it confirms my initial tasting that it lacks a certain Highland Parkness that I would have liked, especially to the taste. Obviously, the type of cask will drive this but I expected more smoke and honey than I actually got. It gets better with a touch of water and swims reasonably well. I would give it a solid and respectable 86.
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