N: Ooh, peat - yum! Clean malt notes too, bringing fresh-water mineral notes to the fore. Theres a tomato/worcester sauce/BBQ/celery scrub vibe here - we could be in Octomore territory no less, but this is from a time before ppm monsters. This is a clean and direct peated malt, no too ways about that and furthermore theres a thick layer of oaked-vanilled-varnish coveting this entire expression and so much more - theres an oil painting under that varnish. Maybe the abv is getting to me now but this is beautiful. After a few hours the vanilla and coconut is shining.
T: To be expected with the abv, its strong - but more than manageable neat, its strength translated as robustness, Very much Octomorish, albeit with less complexity/craziness but with a purposeful direction. Super clean with a simple richness if you can imagine that. [Schweppes] grapefruit G&T anyone? Add water and the malt body improves, becoming far more rounded with sour lemon equalling the grapefruit, a touch of mint and spearmint too. Later theres fresh aniseed & celery and then more grapefruit into sour lemons - but the malt base is always intact and ever accessible. And then add more water, lots of it and wow! its a totally new experience, with the most delicate and sweet nectar sugars you’ve known. 50/50, and we are in a special territory.
F: Deep, charred, woody, vanilla-cream-malt-ash with a touch of milk chocolate powder. This is cold heart of the bonfire stuff. The vegetal/grapefruit notes are likewise crisp and vibrant. Ash,………. With water [and this baby can drink] the waxy/buttery malt top trumps everything with the other descriptors actively working supportively in the background. Its grapefruit vanilla to finish now.
C: Unexpected brilliance.
Scores an A