Why do some corks get wet with upright storage? This one was saturated, and remained so.
N: Every dram needed time to open up. I noticed the stark difference with every new pour. Once done, receptors on. Unforgettable youthful<old, floury fruity>floral dunnage [grainy wheat-barley vibe], honeyed leather [or leathered honey - if that was a thing], elderberries, lavender, un-vinegared capers, white bloomer bread, light fruit jams [apricots, rose apples, dragon fruit],… and a sweetness that is akin to a marmite & Demerara molasses umami-esque combo.
T: Delivers an unforgettable dunnage-dry/honeyed golden hay/chalky package, blend/consolidated in style. Opens out & out and grows & grows on you. Certainly one of the subtlest, well-aged, weighty-oaked malts. And there is plenty of oak [37 years of it!], but it feels like the spirit is still just about leading the way - the casks patiently adding to the complexity bar year on year. Every sip defies the last. Both the barley & oak carbohydrates are divine. Sugar peas, but not as you know them - the sugary tannin of the skin, blackberry cordial, a touch of crumble,…. If there were dad noises creeping in from the start, water takes things to a more animated level - dads-chatting-in-a-beer-garden level, whilst the mouthfeel swells. There is an acute soapy note but the [grapefruit] sharpness aides the balance, somehow. Did I mention the peat? It took [me] a few day before the peat was obvious enough - and although unobtrusive, it’s vital to the mix. No words now, only sensations. Let it all wash over whilst that mouthfeel massages the tongue.
F: Lots of heathery action, that’s for sure. Then, honey to cream to more soft hay. Bourbon for sure - any sherry? Near impeccable form. At the death: honeyed dried white bread, for the ducks. Later, deep putty notes leading to [Trustin] peeled chestnuts snacks [from your local health food shop], and roasted cabbage. Becomes more honeyed with treacle, then with some damp chalk powder and a little detergent. Now a dry cooked cabbage & rice-paper sweetness with some depth. All these notes come with clear shifts before lingering. This malt’s true age shows most now, but there’s no suggestion of overbaking. A soapy note again, but still only a touch. Later I detect more floral stuff. Whilst the nose got lighter [over time], the finish gets denser with a puttiness.
C: And who said it’s impossible to drink quality in quantity? I fully intended to take my time, to savour the bottle, to share samples and decant some for future years - but I couldn’t hold back from those irresistible oak sugars. We can’t drink oak, but in a way, we can. Caned in four days. Bon bon.
Scores an A[-]