The first thing I notice upon opening a new bottle is some very attractive menthol notes on the nose: predominantly wintergreen, créme de menthe, peppermint...spearmint plays hide and seek. Additionally, I find nutmeg, and something reminiscent of Andes mints...vanilla, fresh apples, a touch of lemon zest. County fair cotton candy, and honey buttered cinnamon sprinkled fried bread are unique, delightful undertones. Unfortunately, the caramel colouring is noticeable, and is the only thing I don't like about it-- but it's forgivable. Palate (entry) is minty, spicy, creamy, and chocolatey. The middle brings mandarin orange, Thai peanut sauce, and flan. There is a slight salty coastal note, and the unmalted barley is pasty and delicious. The finish is of bread pudding, green grapes, a variety of organic apples with skins in tact...slight hints of Siamese plum sauce, sweet and also vegetal chilies. Once again, I taste the caramel colouring, but this is such a unique and lovely whiskey, it is easily forgivable and really doesn't do much to detract from such a memorable and well rounded pour. Remarkable complexity with a medium body, a very unique and attractive main profile, and plenty of surprises to those who enjoy searching for them. The mouthfeel is oily, juicy, jammy, creamy, but overall is oaky, sticky, resinous and somewhat drying. I love the copper imarts, and superb balance, and the very unique character of this Irish giant. It is a big whiskey for Irish liquid, but in general is medium bodied-- yet jam packed with flavor. I've only just opened this bottle* and no doubt it will further develop and blossom, (I usually don't give a review until I've gone through at least one bottle)-- but this has all the hallmarks of outstanding development over time after opening (bottle breathing, ie; desirable oxydization development) ...I am confident in recommending this one to anyone who's not put off by minty whiskies. I find them to be a rare treat. More herbaceous notes are already developing in my glass: yarrow, catnip tea (a member of the mint family), black liquorice and chicory root. EXTREMELY LONG FINISH!*opened 09-12-15, finished 12-30-15. These are my initial tasting notes...unlike some other whiskies, this one reached its peak performance within one month-- after which time, many of her undertones faded...I feel my initial notes compliment her the most, and here they are, unrevised, with nothing added. Before and after opening, this bottle was stored at approximately 57° F, in the dark-- (of course it was sipped at a higher [room] temperature). I used a hand warming technique, and enjoyed this beauty (mostly) in my vintage lead-crystal miniature tulip glasses, by Peill & Putzler.
91 well earned points