cask 4903 7yo - 91-90-90
cask 3660 8yo - 90-90-91
cask 1490 12 yo - 90-91-92
very close together, quality is super high. This was the starting time of the Warehouse 9 tastings and I am afraid, overall they haven't kept this quality up, although it is still high and a W9 or W4 tasting is highly recommended any time you pass by.
I added 5 drops of water to 1.5cl, hence my comments... maybe some drams needed more, but I ran out of stuff to try...
cask 4903 7yo - reminds me of 1979 Signatory dumpies. thats great. Oloroso sweet nuttiness, old leather, furniture polish, dark chocholate, candied oranges, alcohol tickles the nose - very good complexity and powerful. 5 drops of water in 1,5cl makes it angry. More alcohol strikes my nose, less complexity more spice and (virgin) wood. No water on the nose for me.
cask 3660 8yo - engine oil, peat, waxed orange peel, dark cherries, cocoa powder - all of it very barbecued. Hard to believe it is a second fill cask: Water doesn't do any harm, maybe even more engine room now and less alcohol on the nose with an oaky spiciness.
cask 1490 12 yo - after nosing the fist two, this almost has a cabbage note, a bit sour, not really nutty, rather fruity, some yellow some red but not so ripe, some chocolate, very fresh - nosed on its own, the cabbage note almost disappears- Hm, seems it doesn't like to play with the others. Same effect as with the 7yo with water - an angry rotten cabbage with mate tea now!
cask 4903 7yo - the nose replicates on the palate, though it is much smoother than the nose suggests. Water helps the complexity of the taste immensely, though spiciness (cloves, indian marsala, virgin oak) take over eventually. Two different whiskies with and w/o. Slight tendcy to old school w/o water.
cask 1490 12 yo - rather the 12yo unpeated next... quite similar to the nose, though no cabbage but a lot of sweetness. Quite compact and quite but not overly complex, though the rather yellow fruits keep on working to make the mouth water. that's really cool. Some rotten cabbage at first with water, though then wonderfully massaging every little aroma onto the tongue. I can overlook the cabbage here and go with the water option.
cask 3660 8yo - sweetness sticks, a whole engine room in my mouth (ever been to the Deanston Turbine Room?), reminds me of the Moine Oloroso CS NAS, but a bit less dirty. Wood smoke rather than peat smoke. Red fruits now. More fruity, sweet and much smoother (tamed?), less smoke either woody or peat. It has much appeal though I miss the Deanston Turbine room a tad. It's a wash between w and w/o water, well with in the summer w/o in winter.
cask 4903 7yo - good and long finish with no surprises more on the sweeter side - with water finish is smoother with more complexity but also more "modern" spice same as in the taste. Had it been quite old school (1979 SV) w/o now it is quite modern spicy virgin oaky. I prefer the old school w/o water, but also the modern approach has appeal, though a bit less to me.
cask 1490 12yo - the finish is THE thing here, mouthwatering, yellow fruits and oranges working with a sherry sweetness - no cabbage;-) No cabbage in the finish with water. Very complex mouth filling and warming, gentle sweetness with candied oranges. Certainly water wins it with respect to the finish.
cask 3660 8yo - more complex in the finish than in the taste with mouthwatering qualities as well with a lot of sweetness remaing and now, rather peat than wood smoke. This would have so much potential as a peated sherry standard, why don't you Distell? With H2= so smooth, sweet, with citrus fruits (oranges) and an enginge peatiness, that fills my mouth. I hardly notice the alcohol strength now. Almost velvety. Even more potential, Distell!!! Hello! Do it cask strength now as a standard!!!!
Hey, with water at any time but don't miss the undiluted experience.