APPEARANCE: Medium deep copper, towards onion or salmon colour.
NOSE: Sweet bonfire ashe, dry wood smoke, dry peat smoke and alcohol. Concentrated and tight. Will probably benefit from water. (84-85p) With quite a bit of water; the alcohol nip has gone. Other wise not very much has changed except for more noticeable wine cask notes; fresh and dried red forest berries. After giving it even more time it finally starts to open up and diversify, staying around the same elements but increasing the nuances. Lovely (87-88p)
TASTE: The arrival is smokey/ashey and sweet. On the mid palate it reveals its cask strength (54.7%); an alcoholic nip mixes with black pepper spice from the wood, while retaining the sweetness of the peated liquid. Almost firey and a bit one dimensional? (83-84p) With quite a bit of water; noticeably less nippy. More harmonious taste opening up more of its elements; sweeter smoke, sweeter black pepper, liqorice, red fruits. (86-87p)
EXIT: Black pepper, dry wood and peat smoke. Some wine sweetness. (84p) With water the exit is sweeter, less peppery and less peaty or smokey. (85-86p)
OVERALL: A very nice initial neck pour from an interesting second maturation whisky. I find the nose to be its best side and the exit to be its weakest side. Benefited significantly (2 points) from being given time and having water added. I look forward to revisiting this in a few weeks after it has had some time to oxidise and settle down. TOTAL SCORE (for now) 87 points.
UPDATE 17.07.2020: Five days after opening it has just started to oxidise and unfold a little bit; becoming more substantial both on the nose and in the mouth. Nice wine notes are marrying with the smoke and wood notes, yielding at the same time both bone dry and sweet flavour sensations. It is also starting to show more of its depth, complexity and great concentration. This bodes well. I'm upping it by two points to 89 points. Keep airing!