This was a sample from kfhakan given to Slàinte Mhath, which he then generously shared with me.
Thanks to both of you!
First of, it is a whisky so far out of my price range that I would have passed up even buying a single dram.
I tried not to let that "bother" me in my evaluation and just think of it as a 15YO Macallan. Without comparison, I don't find the present Macallan of similar age worth the asking price either... ;-)
I would like to cite Dave Broom on the question if older is better; better is a matter of personal taste, but older is different. And this was definitely different.
I'm not going to rave about how fabulous it was, because this whisky is just as much about what it is not.
Distilled in 1947, not that long after the end of WWII I would imagine there were still shortages of most things, and they really had to make the most and best out of what they had available. Let's just say they succeeded.
The nose is gentle, very gentle, but at the same time solid.
There's a note of moderate oak.
Sophisticated oak as it is not raw wood notes but rather oily and resinous.
It's fruity, but it's hard to detect what I find in today's sherry casks, it's more like juicy figs.
The taste is as close to a perfect follow up of the nose as it can be.
It arrives with a fat oily mouthfeel.
Even if it is "just" 40% it is just right for the delicate flavours it carries. There is a moderate level of spice, just enough to remind you it is whisky and not chocolate milk.
It develops with notes of ground coffee and lightly scorched barley sugar.
Everything is extremely savory, and I think we agreed on excessively pleasant.
I said I was not going to rave... but it is the first whisky that has given me goosebumps.
It makes no fuzz on the exit either. It just hangs around, fading very slowly. Maybe a light touch of mint as it dies off.
I always enjoy a sniff of the empty glass after it's been sitting for a while. Most sherry cask whiskies leave more or less the same smell of fudge, cherry and dark chocolate.
This was different here as well, Lighter, rounder, cleaner.