This comes from an active cask. It's one single hoggy which is doing its best to match up with the intensity of the spirit.
On the nose it's genuinely gorgeous. There are stone fruits aplenty, complemented by dried fruits such as raisins and sultanas, maybe even a slight suggestion of prunes. Plenty of dark honey and barley notes as well. Suggestions of mild spice and a whiff of tannins from the American oak cask.
And now I've just added up to 3 teaspoons of water (it's a 59% cask strength malt) and despite that it swims like an olympian! There's no subduing this baby! A tiny hint of eucalyptus/menthol as I put the glass down.
On the palate it's just as lively as the nose. The intensity of the spirit is remarkable. There are all of the above-mentioned fruits competing for my attention here. Combined with a very nice lightly oily mouthfeel with a hint of waxiness (remember those worm tubs) which is truly mouth coating - even after the 3 teaspoons of water.
The finish is completely consistent with the nose and palate (to me, a sign of a fine malt), with the addition of some mild oak spice (slightly dry American oak tannins), and a suggestion of nuttiness and dark chocolate.
It's a highly interesting cask, which of course cannot overpower the distillery character, making this a fascinating malt. Not spectacular, but it has its own individual personality, as you'd expect from a competent independent bottler.
Well done, Alistair Walker.