Taken home to savour over, here are my more detailed notes for the two samples Phil generously gave us as party bags treats.
N: G1.7 was the SMWS’s first sherried grain [as I noted on the label]. A refill ex-sherry butt is credited, but I’d wager this had also spent time in bourbon oak. With only a small blob of [U-hu] glue [in comparison to the more gluey G6.9 – WLP87], this is a sweet-spicy husky number with a cinnamon-coated [liquorice] stick, light chocolate/cocoa and > fudge. The second wave of descriptors talk of lush dried fruit cinnamon biscuits, rhubarb [crumble] & custard [candy] with [tutti-fruiti] > ice cream, a pinch of nutmeg, a suggestion of asafoetida, fig rolls and a gamut of wood and paper products. Be patient and be rewarded with occasional fancy fruity flashes and deeper gooey sweet delights. It’s one alluring nose, especially for a whisky lover that’s abstained for eight days. It is Burn’s Night after all! Let’s dive in.
T: Initially, I liken this to an old and consolidated, gluey, cocoa and honey-rich blended whisky. Subsequent sips yield a similar conclusion yet the arrival is even fuller [with rich bitter > sweet cocoa], and the travel more straight-ahead with a controlled black pepper and cinnamon trigeminal effect. Over time, the travel becomes shorter and far more laid back, more a meander albeit with a husky peppery co-driver. A chocolatey mouthful is easily achieved with just a few drops of water in the mouth.
F: A short journey granted, but with a long lingering finish. Amazingly, adding water doesn’t exacerbate the spiciness. After the controlled heat comes more oozing [woody] bitter > sweet cocoa, rich vanilla-y metallic honey and sugar paper.
C: I’ve not had a great deal of North British, but this is right up there with the best of what I’ve previously tried. The nose sets it all up. The rest falls into place with just the right amounts of things that may clash with different ratios.