...because this is a real beauty. It requires both attention and time to catch all its secrets but it is worth the efforts. This is old school Scottish malt at its best - and hey, it matured just 15 years (but maybe they added some older casks to this batch which was quite common before the whisky boom started).
The colour is deep copper and the nose is rather shy and closed right after serving (100° proof). So I let it breathe for some minutes and it opens up nicely. Now it offers a bold and truly old-stylish sherry profile from mainly European oak (I guess). There are delicious herbal aromas beside the trademark sherry notes and the malt contributes oily, waxy and fruity impressions. All is very balanced and without any flaw. Later interesting spring floral aromas join in and the wooden notes grow a little stronger (but never dominate). This is both subtle and delicate, I never had such a nose with any modern dram (so far).
The taste truly is multi-layered on an adorable mix of herbs and different home-grown (berries, plums) and exotic fruits in a spicy wine sauce. Then the nuts kicks in and demand some chewing which releases fine molten barley sugars and later several chocolatey impressions (both milk and dark). The herbs are rather shy in later layers which enables the sweeter sherry flavours to enter the front stage. Some waxy and earthy notes come late but fit perfectly into this tasting profile. Wow, what a delicious treat to my palate!
The initial mouthfeel is very charming (despite the high proof) and instantly covers the whole of the mouth with a warm and creamy coating. No distracting moments at all. The finish is of medium length and vanishes in several fading waves. It adds no new impressions as this is already hard to do given the complexity of the taste. But it nicely extends the great tasting experience without any bitter or drying moment. Some water releases (even) more old-style aromas (beeswax, vegetable oils) in the nose and smoothes the taste but the layers intermingle now. More water intensifies this effect. To be honest, I clearly prefer the neat 100° proof dram.