Two tastings, two years apart, same bottle:
(Tasted 16.11.2021 from a bottle initially opened two years ago)
NOSE: Typical HP honey and summer heather, very mild peat smokiness, honey cake, mild baking spices, flower pollen. Some lighter dried fruits, like yellow raisins, mango but also figs and dates. Mild hints of vanilla and coconut shavings. Sweet and honeyed nose. (88p).
TASTE: The arrival is sweet, almost luscious. However on the mid palate it struggles to keep up with the aforementioned first impressions. It is still sweet and extremely drinkable but lacking a bit in development and complexity, in particular for an 18 year old. (85p).
FINISH: Unfortunately the decline has begun. The exit is sweet, mildly peppery and perhaps I could say pleasant. Even fairly long. But I think an 18 year old malt whisky should have more complexity and show more development over the taste curve. (83-84p).
OVERALL: Benefited hugely from being transferred from a copita to a big, proper wine glass (nose score went from 85p to 88p only due to this). Actually a very good whisky, sweet and utterly quaffable, which just seems a little bit too polished and restrained, lacking in complexity. TOTAL SCORE 86 (85) points.
(Tasted 31.07.2019 from a newly opened bottle)
NOSE: Sweet malt, heather honey, dry wood, dried orange & lemon peel, light dry peat and a little vanilla. Not very sophisticated but still quite nice. (86p). Takes water rather well, the only change is some added nuttiness, in the direction of almonds (86p).
TASTE: On the arrival there is some sweetness and rounded, sweet wood tones. On the mid palate there is some wood tannin / mild black pepper. (83p). A few drops of water increases the wood dryness and black pepper notes. (82p).
FINISH: A mix of sweet honey, mild vanilla, bourbon notes, some dried fruits, mainly citrus and fresh black pepper. (83p). A few drops of water were not very beneficial. (82p).
OVERALL: The nose is fine and clearly superior to the taste. In the mouth there’s a less pleasant oak dominance. Overall there seems to be some sherry notes here but the main impression is of bourbon barrels and too young/aggressive/insufficiently dried wood. TOTAL SCORE: 84 points (with water: 83).