N: I was initially disappointed with this when i first opened it, although it didn’t stop me getting very, very drunk on it. A few weeks later and fully recovered, lets see what we have. Aah, i remember it all now - this is a natural one with plenty of sweet vanillas, pound cake, grasses & nettles, geraniums, a light cannabis note, a fresher, cleaner soda water note and,…. aah got it, its Tequila! Although this is showing good age, the new make spirit still very much intact but theres no heat or astringency at all. Consider also the sweet vanillas, the foliage and 15 good years of [grainy] oak, this all makes for a convincing dram - albeit rather basic and modern one, but its the actual spirit character that’s winning me over. Maybe its because it reminds me of Balblair somewhat.
T: Salty soft maltiness with that flavoursome spirit and oaky vanillas. The unusual savoury sweetness leans more towards a lowlands/agave tequila than a whisky. The spirit dances first before a wave of oak, the two jostling for position and culminating in a rather long unravel. Theres a charming mouthfeel to be had, becoming malty and creamy although never that sweet. Theres a touch of peppery splintered oak moving into the finish. Works best neat for me. Reminds me of Hazelburn’s ‘Rundlets and Kilderkins’ batch WB, especially on the finish for the modern splintered dryish grain wood aspect. There are hints of bourbon fruit notes coming forth now and that waxy>oily mouthfeel gets better by the sip.
F: Rather classic Speyside finish - fresh, sweet n sour with another charming mouthfeel reprise just before the death. Some Elderflower berries and sour vanilla wafers show at the death for a light-sour, spirity conclusion, which was always on the cards from the offset. Is that a hint of peat, heathery peat?
C: Although unlikely to set the world on fire, what we have here is a perfectly good, natural malt. What’s curious for me about this whisky is why it got bottled when it did. It feels like its just starting to let rip with so much potential ahead of itself. Of course i have no idea what it was like all the years earlier, maybe this peaked? How i’d love to be a distillery taster. Final word then: an excellent session dram this, simple and enjoyable enough to sip at will but a malt that is receptive to occasional discoveries as it begins to open up after a few weeks. I think im not too disappointed with this purchase now. One important note, this consistently gave me terrible headaches in the morning, even after only two-three drams. I had to give this bottle away in the end, so bad was the morning after effect. Its like it was full of sulphites, a la - the wine industry.
Scores a C+