Old gold. The malt runs heavy and oily through the glass, thick drops form long, wide strips on the edge of the glass. The BA8 would be perfect for a demonstration of the typical 'Bands of Gold' from the warehouse tasting.
A little alcohol leads to the nose, despite the low alcohol content. This is followed by spices, vanilla and fruity sweetness. The baseline of the very interwoven aromas is again sweet and somewhat vinous, as we know it from earlier Black Arts. Good start!
First impression ... strong without biting. Very pleasing with 45.1% ABV. Then come oak seasoning, white pepper, again vanilla, some orange liqueur and heather honey. Overall a very fresh character that the malt conveys. With 26 years of maturation it could have turned out differently. The oak flavor seems more intense on the palate than in previous BAs. The malt still looks balanced, but not quite as complex as a Black Art 4.
FINISH / CONCLUSION
Long finish, I have the typical Laddie grain notes, but I don't find pastries here. Then sugary sweetness and a woody bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate and pipe tobacco. Pickled fruits complete the impression without being able to name the fruits individually. Apricots, mandarins, lychees, then it stops. Do I have to do it again with more leisure. Amazingly sweet in the finish, only towards the very end does the wood penetrate you very much into the foreground. Like a mixture of BA4 & BA6, I make a note of it, whereby it does not really come close to the quality of the Black Arts 4 and 2, which for me mark the top of the series so far. After all, apart from the oak, there are no discernible missing notes.
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