They’ve saved the best in the series for last! I was hoping this would fall in the same vein as Eleuthera, and it sort of has. This one trades in the clean and fragrant Clynelish-y notes of Eleuthera for syrupy fruit and vanilla. As a proud Canadian, I take my maple syrup by the spoonful, so this whisky has an obvious appeal there too. I think I liked it a bit better without the water, as that really amped up the sulfur and threw things a bit out-of-balance. As always, I’m really not sensitive to sulfur, so I didn’t mind so much, but I imagine there’s enough here to be a dealbreaker for some. The finish and mouthfeel are a bit on the mellow side too, but all in all, this is a delicious and complex blend. Like Sunday breakfast up at the cottage.
Nose: Layered sweetness. Bright sugary fruit on top: dried apricots, peach cobbler, honeydew melon, and tangerine. Rounder sweet notes of demerara sugar, maple syrup, vanilla crème, puff pastry, maple fudge, toffee, very dark honey, and milk chocolate. There’s some peat there, but it’s distant, heathery, and grassy. It has a bit of that struck-match sulfur kind of note that I associate with Highland Park. Italian pastries, straight out of the wood-fired oven.
A dribble of water brings out pineapple, blueberry cheesecake, and some more sulfurous smoke.
Palate: Medium texture. Loads of maple up front, along with toffee and orange peel. Whoa, much peatier than on the nose. Clean, woody peat smoke, scented with vanilla and spun sugar. A fruity hit of cherry cordial, pineapple, and coconut in the middle. On the back end, there’s smoky dark chocolate, distant ash, candied citrus peels. Some candied nuts and hints of nori and earth.
Water intensifies the smoke and brings a black pepper note.
Finish: Mellow. Campfire smores, maple syrup, grapefruit peel, cherry, lemon tea, dry earth, and more distant ash. A smoky maple Old Fashioned.
The water has made things a bit more savoury and peppery here, as well as adding some blueberry, lavender, and a lingering sulfur note.