N: This is an Impressively assured and vibrant, spirit led beast with mushroomy-soily-heathery-gritty-oaky-molassas/treacle-porridge-maltiness accompanying dried apples, dried coconut, stewed tomato-butterscotch, tamarind sauce, sweet ginger, marzipan, demerara, yeasty-chocolate, peanut oils, shoe polish and old shag pile rugs. Its rather more Lowlands in style despite the highland heathers. Also, it borders on roughness and oddity at times but largely comes across as conspicuous and imposing - which was immediately apparent on opening.
T: Dry-apple-infused, peppered, heather honey start with a rich development and absorbing mouthfeel - grain lead [leathery, honey malt] with an ashy-nutty-oily-chocolatey gear change. Over time that mouthfeel improves even further with almost a marmalade quality, especially with water in the mouth. Talking of water, I instinctively added a few drops of water to temper the abv on the nose, but the palate required very little indeed. Interesting mushroomy/porridgy, malty glints throughout, grain all the way, sometimes a little raw and dominant, although in the main all is well.
F: The grain opens out to deliver a long finish - mainly with malty, chocolate notes, soft vanillas and even softer but clear ashy fresh spirity>wood. It concludes with a less than desirable chocolatey, metallic, oily finish but this takes rather some time to emerge and is avoided by taking another sip or adding more water. Spirit led to the last however.
C: By no means flawless, but brush over the cracks and you’ll see signs of true accomplishment.
Scores a B[+]