...and this is a flabbergasting positive surprise, to be honest. Given the young age of both releases they offer a bold and rather complex traditional profile (the 2010 after reduction) which is much better than that of most of the Scottish under-aged malts. I can imagine very fine English drams once these whiskies got adult - I will keep an eye on St. George's distillery, for sure...
The colour of the 2009 is two shades darker at jonquiripe corn while the 2010 is at pale straw. The nose of the 2009 offers a bold and impressive profile with all kinds of oils (both industrial and natural ones), hospital aromas (iodine, gauze bandages and more), autumn floral notes (wet hay stacks), shy fruits and spices (and peat, of course). Hey, this is pretty interesting and reminds me a little of the traditional Springbank profile (which is a huge compliment!). Unfortunately, this nose vanishes quickly upon breathing and gets less interesting. The nose of the 2010 is completely different - much more shy and lacking most of these interesting oily and medicinal aromas. It is more floral-fruity driven with lots of chalk and mineral notes and the cold smoke of an extinguished bonfire. I prefer the 2009 on this dimension, clearly. Water improves the nose of the 2010 significantly.
The taste of the 2009 is quite impressive too with a fine mixture of sweet barley sugars, peaty flavours, fruits and spices that is in balance - I like that! It is nicely chewable and somewhat layered which is a fine achievement for such a young dram. No flaw that I can find, the woods are about perfect to provide structure without dominating. The 2010 is somewhat unbalanced on the palate with too much bitter-peaty flavours compared to the rather shy sweet sugars and fruits. And it is more simple than the 2009 (but more oomphy-spiky , so lovers of the modern style whisky will prefer it neat - most probably).
The initial mouthfeel of the 2009 is very hot (due to the high abv) and coats instantly the whole of the mouth without distracting moments. The 2010 arrives less hot on the palate but less coating too with a significant bitter-drying feeling (ashes, tannins). Again I like the 2009 better here. The finish of the 2009 is long and turns to the bitter-drying side of the peat but still the sugars are there to sweet the bitterness. The finish of the 2010 is shorter than the 2009 and surprisingly better balanced than its taste with more sweet and waxy flavours added. Nevertheless, I prefer the 2009 on this dimension, too. Water flattens the 2009 and turns it more sweet while a reduction improves the 2009 and both in the nose and on the palate (it releases much more aromas and flavours and the taste reaches a fine balance this way, which is good for two additional points).