This is an interesting one, but ultimately, I didn’t love it. There’s so much earth and seaside, at the expense of almost all the sweetness in the back half of the dram. I’d definitely call it unbalanced, but if those punky-wood, coastal, earthy flavours are your jam, you might dig this. It didn’t really do a whole lot for me though. I prefer the old version. If you’re finding whisky too sweet lately, give this one a go.
Nose: Coastal and lightly sweet. Apple, pear, lemon, some peach, (heavily-)salted caramel, and buttery shortbread. It’s definitely earthy: there’s mud, some pine, tobacco, and maybe a whiff of rocky beach. There’s some kind of salted nuts in there as well as some malted barley. There’s a bit of a solvent-y note in here, but it comes across to me more as part of the brine rather than something obtrusive.
Palate: Medium texture, slightly oily. Caramel, toffee, apple, vanilla, and nutmeg up front, before a quick development into something much earthier and dry. There’s a good dose of black pepper, the bitterness of punky (rotting) seaside wood, lots of leather, salt, and of course, salt. Very dusty, with something like bitter honey.
Finish: Medium-length. A punch of woody, earthy, and dry. Salt-drenched coastal forest (much like they have on Mull, actually), clay, salt, tobacco, and herbs. Some banana, lemon, and dark chocolate, with more of that bitter honey. There’s the slightest hint of pastries wafting over.