I immediately have a great fruitiness on the nose, which is supplemented with vanilla sugar and pepper. The alcohol stings a little in my nose, so I have to feel my way a little more slowly. Strong citrus aromas of oranges, lemon juice, grapefruit and lime peel combine with apricots, peaches and a few tropical fruits like passion fruit and papaya. The red wine barrel brings a little red fruit, but a certain "dark fruity heaviness" is completely missing in my eyes ... The citrus notes are most present for me from this fruit basket. This fruitiness is perfectly complemented by an intense spiciness that leaves the fruit aromas enough space and space for the big stage. A little cocoa powder can now be felt and the wood of the barrels becomes more intense. The wood is nothing special in terms of its aromatic character, as is usually the case with younger whiskys. The vanilla note integrates very well. All in all, a whisky that is fun to smell and has a lot to offer. Especially related to its selling price. But I would have hoped for a little more dark fruity depth and heaviness in the red wine barrels.
In the mouth, the whisky is incredibly strong and intense at first ... it tingles all over the mouth, the pepper sweeps over my tongue with a strong heat and makes me understand that the alcohol content of almost 60% is simply too much of a good thing for me . The fruits turn a little redder and darker in the mouth, a little candied strawberry comes to mind. The citrus aromas are still present and ensure a sour freshness. The intense spiciness is back and this time takes over the helm. Added to this are tannins that were hardly present on the nose: leather, tobacco, slightly damp forest floor ... a slight bitterness is noticeable, but is well absorbed by the sweetness and fruitiness. The sharpness is still there ... I dilute to about 52-54% and try again. Mhhhh much more pleasant! The sharpness is reduced a little and the mouthfeel is now much more pleasant and creamy. The spiciness is still pretty dominant.
The finish is medium-long with a lot of pepper, leather, tobacco, coffee, liquorice and a veil of fruitiness and sweetness that can only be perceived subtly. The mouth becomes a little dry, a slight bitterness settles on the inside of the cheeks ... and a metallic note is noticeable.
So in summary I have to say that I liked the whisky best when I smelled it. In the mouth it is too hot for me and the spiciness is a bit harsh and no longer embeds as harmoniously as it was in the nose. For the price, however, I am positively surprised because I drank enough whiskys for more than double the price that I was less convinced of. I still don't need a large bottle ... but I'm grateful for the great sample.
I got 87/100 points.