Nice deep burnished red color, natural, no E150a, no chill filtering.
Legs: thin but substantial for only 8 years. proximal beading, large beads.
Nose: Campbeltown peat, nice oceanic malt, char, toasted quince, faint sulfur, mint leaf, cinnamon, all spice, old leather. Herb bitters like the Swiss take for colds, and just a hint of wood, which is surprising.
Mouth: Beautiful hit of fruit and smoke, mixing with the char. Pork ribs but not inside the meat, just burnt BBQ sauce on the top with a hint of grilled fat. Yes, umami. More leather, Christmas cake (I hate saying that, so cliche) and what I mean is the icing, the slivered almonds, the apricot jam, the currants and golden raisins, and some figs perhaps. These oloroso casks are quite good to impart so many flavors. Love the char. Just right Dialed in perfectly with the Campeltown peat and the magical waters of Crosshill Loch. That loch is not to be underestimated, and it gives a unique flavor to all whiskies made from it, so close as it is to Campeltown Loch and the sea. I say that Crosshill Loch is to Campeltown whiskies as the peaty water from Highland Park is to that distillery's special flavor. Very nice and perfectly at home with a meaty, Oloroso char barrel. A marriage made in heaven or hell, take your pick, but perfect. Either fallen saints or risen red devils.
Finish: powerful but medium and not long. It's long for being an 8 year however. Still the tongue is reeling in a pleasant manner. Last flavor to die: the oloroso coming across as dried orchard fruits.
Parting observations: Well, for an eight year, I think this is pretty much as good as it gets for me at such an incredible price. There is no sulfur in the mouth that i can detect yet. With water, it moves in that direction but not all the way there. The sulfur is only a faint hint on the nose, thank goodness. There's nothing that spoils a good Campeltown malt for me like sulfur. I hate sulfur and so I am grateful there is none to taste here. For me, the devil's perfume is never pleasant. And I don't look nostalgically back on a licking my burnt fingers after playing with cap guns as a boy, but I did love playing with toy guns and I think boys should be given them for fun today.
There is that so awful to admit? Back when cap guns, suction cup guns, and potato guns were commonplace in the hands of happy boys, there was far less gun violence in society at large. That is, before American society went widdershins, head over tea kettle, and began sending 18 year olds off to die like clockwork in the largest military ever to exist on planet earth for twenty consecutive years running, but then on the other hand America's media and its psychology industry can't bear to see toy guns in the hands of boys playing happily with mock weaponry as boys have done since the beginning of time . . . even while films and tv shows glorify gun violence in the most gratuitous way imaginable as if that's supposed to be all well and fine, when it's not at all, and neither are video games that are too realistic in the hands of boys, girls, (and adults) with a kind of violence that is not normal and very different from time immemorial in an unhealthy way.
Ha, this whisky seems to bring out intellectual flights of fancy? Yes, and so much the better. It's a good conversation starter I think. I'm changing my score from an 88 to an 89 just based on that alone. Some whisky is magical. This one is that for me and it doesn't dull the mind at all with the delightful buzz it provides rather quickly I should say. A perfect holiday sitting around chatting after dinner whisky.
Good cigar optional but not out of place. Blow me a smoke ring if you light one. And if you are Gandalf then please do blow an entire smoking boat out of thin air with your pipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAZpjWZRNAc. This whisky can help to create . . . a night to remember.