Dark honey and pine resin up front. Actually, more like a whole pine forest, with wood bark, aromatic needles and all. The age really shows; this is immediately intense and impressive. The kind of nuttiness that makes you think of Oloroso-cask maturation, when it's really all long-term, ex-Bourbon ageing. Full, creamy and luxuriant, it just oozes a deep herbal warmth, like a whole pan of liquified honey warmed over an open fireplace in a remote wood cabin. If you let it breathe for about twenty minutes, there's an additional layer of milk and hazelnut chocolates, nougat and praline. Gets more and more sumptuous with time - always a good sign.
Immediately herbal on the tongue, with substantial warmth and a peppery / gingery impact. Some pleasant bitter notes. It's already pretty great, but this can definitely use some water. With H2O, the spectrum of warm, pleasant wood aromas broadens, without the whole getting too oaky. Orange bitters, Cointreau, honeyed cough lozenges... Really good. Diluted, the palate becomes much more manageable: hugely honeyed still, but more drawn out, with a cascade of herbal, woodsy, forest-y aromas and a transition into Schweppes and dry mineralic-metallic notes at the death.
The aftertaste is perhaps the weakest part of the whole experience, as the dry, tart, mineralic aspects of the finish prove to possess a bit more staying power than the warm, woody notes, but the latter do still occasionally swell up as well. Can't be mad at that, really, because this whisky really takes you for a ride with each sip, and it's fun and entertaining and pleasant the whole way. What more do you want?