Color: Rich Mahogany (with apologies to Ron Burgundy)
Nose: There's a lot going on here. There are the savory elements you often get when combining a big distillate, big peat, and big sherry. Think meaty notes, soy sauce, and coffee. Then there's dried fruit, especially prunes. As for the peat, some of the medicinal nature comes through, along with some furniture polish, but it's not overpowering. It works; it's a huge nose, but the balance speaks louder than any of the individual elements.
Mouth: Beautiful and flavor-packed from the start with the viscous mouthfeel you want in a dram like this. There's no heat at 55% ABV, which is always a good sign, in my view. The higher you can get it, like this, the more intense the flavor should be; remove the burn from that equation, it allows for some rich experience. That's what you get here. Aside from the usual suspects, and specifically a continuation of the nose, this has an interesting root beer taste. Not something I often find in whisky. Anyway, it's good. (I don't get a big difference from adding water at either the nosing or tasting stage.)
Finish: You feel the oak a little bit on the finish, but nothing too bad. It sticks around for a while.
Comments: This is a great whisky to have in your collection for when you or your guests feel like having an intense dram. I always like having a few of these around for such occasions. This Ballechin is a definite winner in that category. I'll add, once more, that TWE is absolutely doing an exemplary job with these 20th anniversary bottlings.