After bottle-splitting a significant amount of this small pricey bottle [£95] with fellow Swaggers, I’m left with a 10cl sample to play with. After my first contact with it at the distillery [WLP+/-86], here are my [re-review] findings.
N: This fills a room just pouring it into the glass. Like a late-into-the-night University project, this reminds me somewhat of that infamous ‘Moscato finished’ Three Ships [WLPNS]. More generally, we might be talking of Port Charlotte > Ardmore < or Ledaig’s heavy peatiness, stylistically. Add to that, a healthy portion of full-bodied vegetal-sweet wine influence, oily/fatty barley, and underlying soft/refill bourbon-y woodiness. Along with that, we’ve an array of burnt materials [vegetal and manufactured], a curious/unique fruity [orangey?] floral [boiled/damp scented flowers] smoked [grilled chestnut & Swarfega] oily detergent/cleaning spray vibes,…. tomato ketchup in gherkin juice,… socks sprayed with furniture polish & vanilla essence, squidgy sweet yet tart lemon meringue,… Then there’s the [slightly curried] meaty fish skin complex. It’s an evolving dram with established focal points. Against what I said last time, the 63% strength [for me right now] is nigh-on perfect, those un-chill-filtered fats oils esters and aldehydes, alive and kicking!
T: There’s a lot to process initially. Though not immediate and certainly not overpowering nor too distracting nor defining, it’s soon fishy [canned/metallic tuna & mackerel in the main, a little sardine juice and grilled kipper skins], followed by an injection of thick dry sweet n sour wine-derived fruitiness, and a firm saltiness. A metallic potato note not dissimilar to a [Kuro Kirishima] shochu I’m currently reviewing provides a steadier platform in the middle which aides a plentiful journey with a succulent soft abv/woody spiciness on the turn – a complex yet subtly crafted mix of herbs & spices, Szechuan sauce [the Foz],.. and turkey meat?
F: After an Intense but most manageable [even neat, certainly] palate,.. you can still revisit the underlying barley. The mackerel/kipper skins envelop around the not-pushy-yet-persistent cask, repeat, joined by more of that likeable & curious sweet-vegetal bitter-woody [now dryish] oiliness. Heavy vanilla-ey [sooty] ash and the remnants of dry sweet-vegetal grape tannic notes linger, followed by [orange juice to sweet squeezed lemon] fruity cellulose > waxiness,… Angostura Bitters,… more woodiness,…
C: I’ve waffled way too much, as usual, but Abhainn Dearg shows us there is another way. A triumph really. Further reading [WLP].
Scores 87 points