I find this NAS blend tasty and distinctive at the same time, no complexity explosion and overall still round and light with its 40%, but still not thin and quite appealing. The Macduff as lead malt is quite present; interesting: in the nose the blend is reminiscent of the 18 Deveron, but in the taste it is more like the 12. In direct comparison, I mean the wood and the spice of the Brackla, the clearing of the Aultmore and a hint of gravity of the Craigellachie.
The evening sun seems to shine in strong gold through the glass and intensely fruity-spicy floury-ripe red apples, mandarins, blood oranges, fresh bananas, dates and lemon juice rise from the glass rim. In the meantime, a tickling alcoholic spiciness with fresh liquorice, mint, lavender and not yet opened spruce cones pushes forward, not unlike a tart shower gel. This is followed by sugar cubes, bitter chocolate, wheat toast and a hint of fresh vanilla pod, before green tea, cold vegetable broth and minimal memories of fresh softwood take over in the background and remind of an autumn forest clearing and with a metallic appeal of a rusty old yard gate.
A very mild and creamy fruit cake first covers the tongue with plenty of almond chips, the individual fruits can hardly be made out, most likely mandarins and a few bananas on a pudding bed and biscuit dough. Heather, cold tea, oak and a small cigar box come next in the mouth, accompanied by a slight burning sensation, which, however, never becomes bitter and woody and has also left the somewhat too fragrant notes of the nose behind.
Fruit cakes and fresh cake batter also take the lead in the finish, creamy and nutty with a hint of marzipan that never really gets through, plus light citrus notes such as the additional aroma in fruit jelly. The end is rather short in itself, but a creamy feeling of marzipan and the freshness of citrus fruits and herbal candies, along with a note of nutmeg and bitter nut, persists for a few moments.