Color: Standard Gold
Nose: I like this immediately. There's a rush of fresh fruits with a sour tinge. There's a mild salty character, as well. Continued nosing in the initial development brings me back once again to the fruits: they are tremendously juicy and lush. So far it's like the way enthusiasts write about Irish single malts from the late-'80s and early-'90s (it's better in my estimation, no acetone, no candied bubble gum). The citrus begins to assert itself some more, which complements the tropical fruit wonderfully. Undergirding this is a waxiness, which I always welcome with fruit-heavy drams. I recall from reading Angus MacRaild's review that he got metal and shoe polish: I concur. (Similarly, nosing this, I can't find hardly any of what Serge was pulling out in his set of notes on this. Very interesting divergence there.) With even more time, earthy and herbal notes also appear, like tobacco.
Taste: Excellent arrival with a coating, rich mouthfeel that lacks any appreciable heat. It's exactly what I want out of a cask-strength whisky. The fruit, again, takes center stage. Terrific. I find the urge to analyze this into several constituent parts, but it's difficult: this is such a well-integrated, characterful whole. Oh well, let's give it a try. There's some refreshing mint undertones (they linger, see below).
Finish: As noted above, there's a freshness that resembles herbal mint that stays with you.
Comments: I'm blown away by this one. As alluded to above, this produced perhaps the biggest discrepancy I've seen on Whiskyfun where Serge and Angus both review a whisky (80 v. 92 points, respectively). As you'll see, I'm much more on board with Angus's view of this. If this is truly one of the worst Signatory 30th Anniversary bottlings (which, according to WB scoring, it is), then I can't wait to see what else this series has to offer.