...and this is much more to my liking but still not my prefered profile of malt whisky. The sour-sweet wine flavours somehow contain the aggressive peatiness instead boosting their bitterness (like the virgin oak did). But still I do not ask for a second dram...
The colour is pale straw and the nose offers a rather shy profile first, most probably due to the high abv of 61%. After some breathing just the peaty aromas pop up while the wine stays shy in the background. This changes after a fair reduction by water: The sweeter wine aromas show up and I can nose even some distant citric fruits now. Water is essential on this dram, for sure!
The taste shows a lot of peaty flavours (of course) but impressive sweeter wine flavours too that counter the bitter-astringent peat attack greatly. Still there is not much of the malt itself, after some chewing the barley sugars pop up and most probably there is nothing else in such an underaged dram (five years) at all. The reduced dram is more approachable and easier to drink - I like it best at around 46% abv.
The initial mouthfeel is hot (61% abv) with a nice coating effect but a drying-astringent feeling too (cold ashes). It is much better than the combo with virgin oak where the tannins rather multiply the astringent moments of the peat. The finish is long and sweeter than the taste both on the sour-sweet wine flavours and barley sugars with an acceptable dryness of the extreme peats (cold ashes again). Some water helps to smooth the finish (do lovers of such extreme drinks like a smooth finish, I doubt)...