Reference Series III 47.5%
N: Pancake=sponge and buttery corn malt with touches of [dryish] fruits.
T: The gooey sponge continues with the sherry working equally well. Balanced, thumbs up.
F: Nice wood bitters developing. Ideal
C: Remember this is a base for the reference series but in itself is a far better whisky than many on the stands today [Whiskylive London 2016]. Further reading: MoM
Scores a B
Reference Series III.1 47.7%
N: What a difference compared to the III.2 - thats the point right? The sherry finish has brought out the age[s] of the base blend. Pleasing heathery, buttery grain in the main, everything working just so.
T: Salivating sherry into gooey sponge. Slides in, slides down - theres a wow factor going on here.
F: Moves to cocoa/chocolate and more sherry=fluffy grain. Long finish with some good maturation showing.
C: just as good as the III.2 that followed. Maybe i prefer this a tad. Further reading: MoM
Scores a B+
Reference Series III.2 47.5%
N: Currently the world’s best blended malt [Mar ’16]. Robust nose, lots of [Bruichladdich?] beefiness here and clotted cream maltiness - so plenty of age showing. Huge pancake malt with a broad depth. More fruity with water.
T: Strong even with water, this is a bold, thick, dense dram. Its a little held/sustained……
F: …. before moving into ripples of raisins, woody raisins. Opens and widens into chocolate raisins. What a finish!
C: Gotta love that finish, but maybe III.1 has the edge overall. Further reading: MoM
Scores a B[+]
I think the .1, .2's etc... deserve an WB entry in their own right [maybe in time they will].