Packed full of aged notes – polish, old decayed wood and leather – and with a really interesting contrast between sweet and savoury – orange juice and dusty honey blend together with moss, mushrooms and boiled potatoes. It’s all rather malty here, and seemingly distillate-forward. That said, there’s still some overt cask qualities here – the wood seems quite dry and barkish and there’s a light application of pepper and ginger here. Other interesting aromas from brass piping and mineral chalkiness. This really shout its 1970’s style loudly – whisky isn’t really like this nowadays for the more part. The addition of water brings out some fruitiness – burnt pineapples and tangerines – but it also adds some earthy dunnage into the mix. Fascinating stuff.
Woah. Where did that come from? A huge arrival (we’re going to need some water) which plays with the mouth’s ability to manage sour, bitter, spicy and sweet all at the same time. We’ll need to take some time to unpick all this. Starting with bold malty spirit, furniture polish, barley water and honey, this delivers much more wood than on the nose – it’s dry and oaky – quite sour, but not jarring against the sweeter more fruitier elements here. Ginger and particularly pepper are present now and again quite boldly delivered. With water things are much better, superb in fact. The multi-flavour assault is calmed right down and it’s now possibly to understand – balanced fruits, old wood, polished malts, earthy soils, mushrooms, with various metals (copper, brass and steel) all wrapped up in orange barley water. Exciting and challenging straight out of the bottle, with a little water, this is simply superb.
Long with some astringent oak, tangy citrus and minerality. Water freshens this right up for a balanced and beautifully drying end note.