...and now I know why I rated this average only back then. This is a very simple modern "designed" whisky that just goes for the cheap thrills of the wine cask finish (sweet wine, bitter oak) but otherwise still is immature and unbalanced. For lovers of this modern style only...
The colour is russetmuscat and the nose is punchy and very closed first. After some time of breathing it offers rather floral-flowery aromas instead of the expected fruits of the wine cask (that lurk shy in the background). Some water opens up the nose, actually I would say a reduction is essential on this dram. Now some fruits dare to enter the spotlight together with stronger wooden notes but still this stays a rather uninteresting nose. Where are the malt aromas?
The taste is rather locked and shy too as was the nose but after some chewing it releases a simple malty-winey profile in a heavy oak setting. Some fruits, some chocolatey notes and some spices - this is not bad but not great either. Easy to sip, not more. Water turns the taste smoother but unlocks no additional flavours, unfortunately. I like this dram best when reduced to about 46% abv.
The dram arrives warming and somewhat coating on the palate with hot peppery moments due to the cask strength abv. The finish is of a medium length and adds no new impressions beside a drying-astringent ending (tobacco ashes, tannins). Water increases this with a slightly bitter-cardboardy note (aspirin in a wet box).