This bottle I opened around a year ago and these were my tasting notes for the first few months of it’s custody:
N: Leather, raisins, teak garden furniture, something smokey?
T: A malty, estery and grassy sherry number moving fresher/grassier with aniseed>lemon grass. A few months down the road we’ve banana candy & banana liqueur alongside the bitter-sweet oak and CS spirit, both contributing equally to a big, focus-intense experience.
F: Toffee, aniseed, Butterkist popcorn and more aniseed>fresh liquorice, finishing with a bitter-vanilla ice-cream.
C: A modern NAS malt that really brings out the ‘old skool’, in a modern way – ‘Retronach’. It took a while to grow on me/open up but its no less that 88 points – same score as batch 3 WB.
[Many moons later] Final reflection
N: Even the dregs are powerful and resinous right till the last with dry oak tannins [from youthful casks] to the fore. It’s a sweet & nutty one and very bourbon-ey now – where’s the PX and oloroso gone? Then again, this was never simply a ‘sherry in your face’ job. Ten minutes later [it’s still opening up?!], I’m getting a little burnt tyre as it becomes much more oily with that teak garden furniture note coming back round – brought out with water. Only a little water opens the whole profile out actually [after a year], the leather, the raisins, the teak, the oily rubbery=fruity burnt=smoke [and tweed jackets], all back in the hood. It’s a fab combo.
T: The palate is just fine neat or with water. It begins immediately with a waxy & malty, perfectly sweet chew,… much chew on malty & salty caramel.,,,,,,, simply delicious. The sweet oiliness really shines, never sugary, never too savoury. Fine form.
F: Chocolate threatens but it’s all-caramel that comes through with perfectly sweet cinnamon All-sorts – thats a new combo! After that its time for more of those big dry cask tannins ‘a le nez’, yet the sweet oozing caramel hangs on too. Long, firm finish.
C: Blind, I may have called this out as a Bruichladdich given it’s profile and ‘balls’. Despite leaving this bottle open at dangerously low levels for sometime, the spirit was robust enough to perform as well at the last as at first – in fact, it’s better. This is delicious stuff with blameless form and a bottle that demonstrates the importance of allowing a whisky to fully open up & out for best results. Once fully softened, it sung.
Scores a B+.