Nose: smoother, richer and sweeter than
expected. It’s quite subtle, very much bound together, but really
exquisite. Lots of oily notes: precious old woods, hints of teak oil and
eucalyptus. Soft fruity notes, like apples and orange blossom honey.
Bergamot. Beeswax. Apricot jam. The polished oak is always there, but in
a striking harmony. Lots of fresh mint. Faint toasted / smoky notes,
almost hidden in the background. Mouth: almost immediately a gentle
peppery heat coats the palate. Softly spicy rather than oaky. Huge notes
of pipe tobacco and cigar boxes. Herbal tea. Still hints of bergamot
oils and apricots. Cardamom and walnuts. Mint and eucalyptus. More
savoury than the nose. Earl Grey tea. Soft resin. Some toasted notes in
the background. Finish: very long echoes of the spice mix, with a little
liquorice and menthol.
Of course it’s oaky – but that doesn’t mean it’s dry or tannic. It’s a
polished, exotic oakiness that works well alongside the rounder notes. I
think the nose is delicious and the sappy palate surprisingly balanced.
Even if you’ve tried 30 or 40 years old whiskies, this is hardly
comparable. It’s a different drink, a different experience
altogether and a style on its own.