This is unfortunately a bit lackluster in flavour and depth, at least compared to the Revival. There are some nice flavours going on: the nose is quite nice in general, and I like the floral notes, especially on the finish. That said, there are a few weird notes here and there, the palate is a bit on the bitter side, and it just doesn’t seem like the very best of casks have gone into this bottling, again, at least compared to the 15. It might not be so fair to compare this whisky to one of the best standard bottlings in the category, but there’s no reason this couldn’t be as good, right? It’s a fine whisky overall, but it’s not something I’d be looking for at the airport.
Nose: Very sweet and richly spiced. Very fruity as well: cherries, citrus zest, juicy plums, dates, tangerine, and apricots are all sweet and fresh, with a hint of tartness. There’s a sweet floral kind of note as well, something like cotton candy or muscat grapes. Heavy vanilla, pralines, wood spices, and leather. A bit of sweetened condensed milk, with some white glue.
Palate: Medium texture. Sweet and a bit thin up front, with apples, cherries, and more or those muscat grapes. Nutty and slightly bitter in the middle with more of a savoury spice: black pepper, salted peanuts, leather, tobacco, some tight oak, and even some mustard powder. The cherries return on the back end, along with tangy orange and light berries.
A dribble of water picks up the arrival quite a lot, and intensifies the spice and fruit.
Finish: The flavour really blossoms here, in a literal sense too. Lots of hibiscus and rose, along with banana and dried orange and grapefruit peels. A bit more of that dried mustard thing. Cinnamon and ginger.