SMWS AT Autumn 2003 list:
Herbes de Provence and condensed milk
Fort William's distillery was closed twenty years ago, although some of the buildings still stand and have been converted into apartments. It was founded in 1898 and was owned by the dazzling Joseph Hobbs from the late 1930s to the early 1950s. Their product has become rare and only available in limited or independent bottlings. This sample is fully golden and comes from a refilled hogshead. The first temptation is creamy toffees, or more precisely, the aroma of condensed milk, which is just turning into fudge - a hint of sweet pastries, dried flowers and cooking apples. The full-bodied flavor is reminiscent of burnt-edge custard, with the latter giving a slightly bitter finish. Water makes it even more fragrant, like air freshener with floral perfume, but drier: we thought of heaps of dried Herbes de Provence (later came also mothballs). The taste of reduced starch is not so sweet, with traces of sorbet and a dry finish, with hints of cardamom and black pepper in the aftertaste.