This has been aged in 2nd fill ex-Bourbon American Oak for 14.5 years and remainder in 1st fill ex-Olorosso Spanish Oak. I feel like 1st ex-Bourbon at the beginning would have upset the balance of this whisky, and what it is now is a really well done, well-balanced, rich, refined dram.
Beautiful dark amber color, not quite brown, but almost there. Think of a 15-yr Glendronach.
Immediately get dark chocolate (70-80% cocoa) infused with honey. Graham crackers/wafer and nuttiness (peanuts) appear, almost like a snickers without the praline/caramel. Some slight peat, which could also be overtones of maltiness. Can identify some cloudiness within the whisky, almost denser vapors than the 12 & 15. Get some hints of green grapes after letting it breathe for a while. Brilliant, rich nose.
Rich, creamy mouthful; prominent notes of cinnamon and cardamom almost, some honey glazed gingerbread comes to the fore shortly after. A few seconds of swirling and hints of stale toffee come about, like those yellow Quality Street pieces. Remember forgetting completely about the 12 & 15 once I drank this, absolutely brilliant.
Very nice medium-long finish; rich, spicy finish with heavy cinnamon and pepper, carries some smokiness in the early stages, gives way to sweet spices, like Thai sauce, some (surprisingly) lingering floral and vanilla notes. Leathery, oaky feeling from the 12 & 15 is absent and replaced by a slight bitterness in the aftertaste, probably form the extra aging period.