...but this one is truly a strange beast! The nose is very nice but both the taste and finish are bitter-drying and astringent. The sweetness of the fruits and sugars shine through the longer this dram breathes so give it plenty of time to avoid the bitter-drying trap. Actually, after some time and two more drams my taste adopted somewhat and now I like this whisky much better (this is good for additional three points on both taste and finish - making up a total of 87 points then, but I leave the score with the first dram's impressions).
But finally, it is not my preferred style of a modern whisky (it is too much wood-driven)...
The colour is old gold and the nose starts with solvent aromas (nail varnish remover, lacquer paint) that often can be found in old grain whiskies beside ripe fruits and honeys. Later spices and some wooden notes join in and create a nice and delicious profile that I really like. Water opens up the nose nicely and releases additional floral-waxy-mineral aromas that enhance the nose further.
The taste is bitter-sweet with the bitter flavours (grass, tea, tobacco, wood) clearly dominating. After some chewing the fruits and sugars are recognisable and even some shy milk chocolatey flavours dare to show up - but it all stays a rather bitter affair. Lovers of that genre will probably like this but I am more of a sweet than a bitter guy. Nonetheless, this taste is not too bad (as the Aussies would state). Water soothes the bitterness somewhat and strengthens the sweeter side of the dram, I like this whisky best when reduced to about 40% abv.
The dram arrives warming and a little coating on the palate with a significant bitter-astringent touch (tannins at work). You have to particularly like this kind of mouthfeel to enjoy such a dram and I do not, unfortunately. The finish is rather short and adds no new impressions. It stays bitter-drying-astringent all through the end (by the way, I am relaxed and well rested tonight so this taste is not due to "stressed" taste buds).