...no, not at all. This neither smells nor tastes like an old whisky let alone an old Scotch but it offers very interesting new impressions. I guess this profile will get boring after a while but the first dram(s) are pretty nice. I like it, especially the parallels to high-ester rum from the Caribbean.
This dram is hard to score, most probably I will rate it lower after I emptied a bottle but now it is quite interesting and very quaffable. So I score it (consistently to all my other ratings) exactly how I find it today and have a re-taste later on to verify it. Slàinte!
The colour is quite dark at deep copper and the nose offers a bold but not very complex profile which is very wood driven. No, this does not smell like a 20-years old Scotch malt whisky, by no means. But it offers interesting new impressions, most probably the trademark aromas of the Paul John distillery. All in all the profile is powerful and balanced but of somewhat limited complexity, nonetheless I like it. But in a blind setting I would never ever guessed this is a malt whisky, to be honest.
The taste is quite powerful too and reminds me rather of high-ester (single cask) rum from the Caribbean than Scotch malt whisky. Maybe because of the same tropics climate during maturation? I like this, even if it is a little simple. This dram is very chewable and offers more interesting flavours this way, among them bubble gum-ish impressions and more tasty rum notes. Water releases more aromas in the nose and flavours on the palate but the bitterness of the wood increases too without getting unpleasant. I like this dram both neat and reduced to about 45% abv.
The initial mouthfeel is bold with warming and coating impressions but drying-astringent moments too. The finish is of medium length and adds some sour winey flavours and more of the light peat aromas. The wood turns a little bitter and astringent towards the end which usually would be distracting and annoying. But given the overall powerful profile this is okay-ish (in this setting).