NOSE: Moderate, rounded, sweet peat smoke with a touch of heather honey. With air; dried fruits as well. Dark honey. This may sound like Highland Park characteristics, but this whisky is “darker” on the peat side than HP. Water doesn’t make noticeable changes to the nose (88p)
TASTE: The arrival is rich, oily and fairly sweet. On the mid palate there is some tar, peat smoke, hints of dried seaweed. Concentrated. With water it becomes a bit sweeter, there’s also a kind of burnt dried fruits note (presumably from the re-charred sherry staves) (88p)
FINISH: The exit is sweet, slightly nippy, with several wood spices combined, but not in excess, such as black pepper, dried ginger and nutmeg. Notes of dark treacle. Water makes it slightly drier and a bit more peppery (89p w/o water, 88p w/ water)
A rather solid and sturdy Longrow, displaying power, not finesse. It will be interesting to see whether it develops with a few months of oxidation. TOTAL SCORE 88 points.