N: Golly, this really could be cracking indeed. Initially comes across as [partly] sherried [which it could be], but I’m sure its the touches of rancio & umami and superb long maturation from a decent bourbon cask giving that impression. Compared to the 1959 G&M whisky which is clearly heavily sherried [almost armagnac-like], this is far more vegetal [bourbon]-sweet with heathery-vanilla cream and [Japanese] seaweed, soy sauce & saki notes - a little Karuizawa here, yep! 50.5% abv isn’t excessive [on the nose at least], a strength id wish for the 1959 G&M bottling coming up. There’s a lot here, a wide spectrum of flavours: old biscuit tins with garibaldi’s inside, a little hide protector,…and it’s generously peppered for sure. Good start and a profile akin to Linkwood with that again, [vegetal] sweet oiliness.
T: This [whisky] journey is all about context is it not? I’ve read a few notes from knowledgeable peeps mentioning the fruitiness of this Cadenhead. Again, compared to the armagnac-like 1959, this is decidedly vegetal first off with a savoury-sweet bourbon development and a herbal tincture=incense quality to its general flavour. This displays a true bourbon development for me with a herbal-[white and milk] chocolate liqueur and bitter-fresh caramel into the finish - with plenty of oak in the ascendance.
F: Its active till the last and not fazed by dilution at all, offering sweet=savoury, mild fresh creamy vanilla and lime lollies - albeit very well controlled with movement/development till the end. Concludes with dry heathers and milky clotted cream - the latter, a true sign of good age.
C: With a lovely balance bitter-sweet balance and interplay throughout, this is a very decent whisky indeed - but i sense theres better to come….. WB. Bourbon vs sherry, a mix of both - who actually knows? There’s plenty of science and production practise knowledge that explains why sherry cask whiskies can often appear bourbon like and vice-versa. It’s such an interesting journey!
Scores a B[+]