It’s young, but it gets the job done. Not a whole lot of cask influence, as expected from a young whisky, and a bit of sourness and ash. I think water makes a big difference here, bringing up those underlying sweet notes and curbing some of the ‘young’ flavours. There’s some really nice tropical fruit and creamy sweet notes in here. The smoke is pretty mild, but savoury and layered. All in all, it doesn’t reach the nearly-impossible heights of that Cl11, but I’m happy to have a bottle. It’s very tasty to sit and sip, especially while watching hours and hours of that Icelandic volcano livestream.
Nose: Bright, salty peat. Rocky seashore, bonito flake, marshmallow-fueled campfire ash, and swamp. Tangy yellow plums (and plum sauce), mango salsa, and white cherries. Some toasted coconut, banana bread, shortbread biscuits, oyster crackers, and honeycomb. Ginger, black pepper, and rice vinegar.
A couple drops of water add some more nuttiness and savouriness.
Palate: Medium-full texture. Sweet and savoury, with soy sauce, white miso, and mushrooms on the arrival, then a wave of tropical fruit. Salt-drenched coconuts on the beach, pineapple, granadilla, apples, and apricot. The smoke comes in gently, ashy and a bit tart. Then toasted coconut, coffee cake, toasted walnuts, and nougat. Some nutmeg and lemongrass.
The water evens things out a bit, bringing out more sherry fruit, some Rice Krispies squares, and a bit of a potpourri note. The texture is creamier too.
Finish: Medium-length, surprisingly fruity. Toasted coconut, pineapple, plums, apricot, grapefruit, and banana. Coffee ice cream, oatmeal raisin cookie, and some gingerbread. Lingering sea salt, sauteed mushrooms, and char-grilled shrimp.
Water extends the finish a bit. There’s more ginger spice and some extra barley richness.