N: Coffee boom and rich dark drinking chocolate! Thick sugars on display here, with sherried fruits to boot. Boiled sweets, toffee, peaches, this is like a single malt nose. Boozy raisins, praline ice-cream, and a solid but youthful grain as a bedrock, some soft emulsion here and some fresh forest moss, or something moist and fresh. Cocoa powder mixed with coffee and cherries.
T: Well well, what an arrival, rich honey, wood spices building, a sugar crescendo with wood spices and the map itself.Some emulsion with paint brushes dipped in white-spirit which over time disappeared and was replaced with a chocolate caramel hit at the peak
F: Coffee caramel, corn syrups, ice-cream, vanillas. dried raspberry flakes over rich dark drinking chocolate, and theres full circle. Neuhaus chocolates!
C: My golly, this is unbelievable, a COMPLETE grain, as complex as many single malts and an opening to match the finish, full circle, birth to death, incredible.
Scores a rare A
N: Yeasty, bacony varnished grain, butter cream and caramel undoubtedly. Milky hot chocolate with chilli flakes and quite a bit of alcohol on the nose, reminding me of some Bladnoch bottlings. Give it time to open and soften to allow that soft creamy vanilla and cacao husk to show. Theres a lot of sugars to identify on the nose if you have the inclination. Otherwise dive in because it gets even better.
T: A confident, single malt like, nicely weighted honeyed arrival, with some eloquent silky varnish. Theres a pensive moment where the development is unsure of its direction, but fear not as the cocoa floods through, so fruity [bourbon] and salivating with a touch of heat from the spirit. This is a grain whisky so 21 years is young for this spritely fellow. I think Hunter Hamilton have this one just right, the balance between the spirit and cask is simply divine, the line between youthfulness and maturity realised. Finely ground pepper and chilli flakes, complement the bourbon sugars but its corn sugars that develop the strongest, creating a thick condensed corny raisin juice and honeyed varnish coating. Theres a steady development which builds for some time, becoming sweeter as it develops.
F: So much woody cocoa, cacao, precocious spirit and spice to work through, its a wonder when the subtle but profound buttery vanilla cream emerges to take this one out. The plate is treated to a panoramic display. Theres dried goji berries and milk chocolate at the finish with a saline note coming a minute later.
C: Wonderful, very much as i remember from my sample. This grain creates a lot of 'dad noises’ and would make a fascinating blind tasting dram among single malts. What a development!
Easily scores an A