N: Not sure why these miniatures go so cheaply at auction given the provenance, but under the radar they remain - good for me! Starts off with some smoky burned wood oils, some TTW, a touch of creosote/shoe polish, beeswax, leather belts & bags, honeyed>fruity grains & grasses, herbal toffee, herbal tinctures & teas,… It’s potency appears to grow as it oxidises, the barley & oak oils swirling whilst signs of umami development begins. Theres some good age here but it also remains youthful. Honeyed fruity sugars emerge later.
T: More OBE darn it. I think this bottle wasn’t kept very well by its previous custodian[s] as the mouthfeel is very flat - yet the fill level was right to the top. Whilst it gathers pace, the oils and more so the sugars begin to grow. Theres a sweet herbal growth too - a slow but steady crescendo.
F: After some delightful heights concentrating on a herbal sweet-barley-chew, the integrated soft smoke gets to work - Caol ila 25yo like. And what of the wood, the casks? Again, all so beautifully integrated. After notes speak of herbal, dusty chocolate/soft toffee with dryish oily old planks and just the right amount of smoked/malted barley.
C: I do hope everyones looking after their miniatures properly. Once upon a time they were [and still are], neat marketing tools used like calling cards by distilleries, blenders & purveyors, but now often the only way to tap into rich whisky history - currently reflecting full bottle prices & going for crazy money. If you're not intending to drink them/passing them on, I recommend storing them in a CD rack [perfect height for 5cl’s], located in a shady box room/bedroom and keeping the blinds closed and the radiator off in that room as much as possible. Even more ideal - a CD rack with smoked glass doors. Gumtree aside, what a nice whisky - despite the flatness.
Scores a B[+]BOTTLE #2N: Well fancy, i have another in the library. Straight away i sense an improvement/difference compared with the last bottle, with the OBE minimal. Sweet fruits come first, still the beeswax, shoe polish, soy and some meaty smokiness, yet its equally waxy as it is oily - though its changing all the time. Now the barley/beer roots pop their head from the depths, though the malty & oily complexities remain. Plenty of bourbon chat and the same display of virility. Really love this style, lots of everything with qualities unique to the Scottish traditions.
T: Theres much less OBE & mouthfeel flatness but still, the low abv & time in the bottle [20+ years], are making hard work for this wee whisky from the Eastern Highlands. Still, chew it and you can eek out those Garioch delights. Gotta love the laid back presentation. Oily, herbal, soft-resinous icing sugar into the finish.
F: A dry-sweet-herbal menthol freshness with sweet honeyed heather/heather honey and bourbon sugars. Thats a very nice finish indeed with another wave of chew to conclude.
C: Same same but different to the last bottle. A tad more simplistic [form and complexity], despite less OBE/more intactness - and then again,….. Worth picking up at auction anytime you can.
Scores a B