N: Mineraly, oily, peppery, woody with lots of classic crisp flavours here - cheese & onion, salt & vinegar, tomato wheat crunches etc…, malty cardboard, BBQ & tomato sauce, veg stock and caramel. This is a rapidly evolving profile so i expect it could change significantly as the bottle wanes, like the previous SB18 did. Less fruity than the previous bottling.
T: Very salty start, oily and fruity - raspberries, redcurrants and strawberries, a touch of blood orange with active wood showing. Tremendous development which thickens and grows in intensity towards a tincture like mouthful with active wood spices and fresh vanillas throughout.
F: Its still very rich going into the finish with aniseed, vanillas with fabulous amounts of active [bourbon] wood showing and raspberry led boiled sweets. Theres a complimentary amount of saline and seaweed notes that establish a balanced sweet/salt ratio which continues through to a long end game.
C: This is a really cracking new batch for SB 18 fans, and with no obvious flaws its more robust than some of the previous batches that were fruity and floral and quite delicate. We shall see how this bottle fairs in a month or two. So far so good.
Scores an A-
N: Closed nose and could easily be a blend. Mainly bourbon cask notes with sherry cask influence emerging over time.
T: Not very cohesive, confused. Bitter=sour limes, caramel and wood.
F: Those bitter lemons & limes lead into a poor & short, metallic, chalky, spirity finish.
C: Ive been very impressed with this 18yo, recent and past bottlings. This isn’t one of them, tasting finished/forced/engineered and confusing. Obviously this is a batch inconsistency issue and not the usual par.
Scores a C
Further reading: WM84