Taste: On the tongue, the almost 60% Vol. Also attack directly. Very intense is the peat smoke in the foreground. Nevertheless, the barrel also gets its space. The sweetness takes a back seat and makes room for more bitter notes of dark chocolate and a few hazelnuts. Without water, the malt is a bit too much for me. With water, the fruitiness is a little more on the palate. I find raisins and the already mentioned red gooseberry. Overall, rather harsh, which I really like.
Finish: Medium. Dark chocolate, ginger, grapefruit peel, some oak and long-lasting peat smoke.
Conclusion: Overall, this Ballechin is a very successful malt, which was not killed by the barrel. Without water, the Ballechin works a bit too hard for me. However, if you play with water and dilute the malt, the result is great. Complex, balanced and simply delicious. I am curious what to expect, because that was only the first of 13 whiskys from the "The War of the Peat" series.