In general, I think that the barrel used here was probably not a first fill but rather a 2nd, if not 3rd fill. This allows the distillery character of the Glen Elgin to be nicely filtered out, especially in the nose (classic Speysider, green apple and citrus fruit). The initial sweetness in the mouth is very nice. It is not a complexity bomb, nor does it want to be. But it is certainly an ideal companion for a warm spring day. In midsummer, the oak might get through too much from the heat.
In terms of appearance, the whisky presents itself with a pale shade of straw yellow. Rather cautious at first. The alcohol of just over 58% shows up again and again with a slight stinging in the nose. But then full power of citrus fruit aromas such as lemon but also a hint of aromatic, slightly bitter grapefruit peel. It is also slightly sour, as you are used to from a sparkling young white wine. Over time, light, green apples are added to the smell spot pourri. A subliminal sweetness, difficult to interpret what exactly it is, shows up all the time as well.
With a few drops of water, aromas of grasses, maybe even hay, are added. The citrus notes take a back seat, the green apple becomes more juicy and ripe.
Nice oily mouthfeel without adding water. At the beginning it comes with a very strong sweetness on the tongue. Then it gets very quickly, very peppery. Probably from the alcohol. The oak may also speak up here. Behind it is also the peel of the green apple, which I already noticed in my nose.
With water, the strength of the initial sweetness decreases, but it remains in the mouth for the entire time. The fiery pepper note decreases.
Pleasantly warming in the finish. The tanginess remains, then turns into a slightly bitter taste, the peel of the citrus fruits come back and stay in the mouth longer. Towards the end it gets a little bit worse.