Takes getting used to, but not surprising either.
As an absolute minority phenomenon, this whisky ONLY matured in fresh Virgin Oak barrels, i.e. without pre-allocation.
The score of 86 is therefore to be understood very relatively, within comparable Virgin Oak Whiskys, which also ONLY matured in fresh oak barrels without any pre-allocation.
A comparison was made with, for example
Benromach Organic 2011/18 43% (predecessor)
Auchentoshan Virgin Oak Batch 2 46%
Glen Garioch Virgin Oak 48%
The Benromach 2012/20 with 46% was my winner from this comparison with regard to the desired expression of the wooden barrel.