I’ve never been one for describing colour of whisky before, but this is liquid barley gold personified.
N: Aside from the smoky sootiness, the pastry and the marine/Coolmint-fresh, which make up an amalgamated note, I focused on three distinct profile camps. The barley, the attentive [vanilla] oak and the sweet fruitiness – apple=pear tarte Tatin<orange=tangerine yes, but mostly its sweet lemon+lime sugar-sherbet and a touch of frangipane]. Also to be commended is the high flavour intensity coupled with an inviting softness to the whole. And i didnt even mention the biscuit-charcoal<toasted-ness that develops from that sooty smokiness.Time reveals a malty heart that breathes & pulsates. After an hour, the putty-malt really starts to grow. A cardboard note is often seen as a dirty word in whisky but I’m having none of it. Recently i’ve had Inchgower, current Dufftown, Teaninich, Blair Athol,.. etc, all of which have shown brilliance whilst a little boxed in. This is honeyed corrugated cardboard & flour=paper mache, also with salt n vinegar seasoning, peaty [fresh, sweet cow pats], feta cheese [appearing more than another hour later. Then there’s the bourbon medicinal side, mainly showing through bourbon-led candy notes – Hubba Bubba the most obvious! All of this complexity comes with subtleness that always refers back to the savoury barley-cereal heart. I’m bored with the word ‘faultless’, but ho hum there it is. Serge says regarding this 12yo, “I can’t seem to find anything bad to say about this nose”. And thats the nose done! Have we time for anymore?
T: This is oaky distillate but it’s the casks serve the spirit. Dry yet spritzer-like salivation with a dill-sprinkled lemonade/vanilla quality before the velvet=waxy=soot, oak and savoury=sweet spirit gets to work. Follows through with a raisin/malt core. The complexity grows on development. Water management is fairly important but again, time is more crucial to get the best.
F: It’s certainly not oily, maybe more waxy and there’s no exaggerated, rich mouthfeel. This is a dry, neutral-dry, spirit driven, oak-dry conclusion with a touch of cask-vanilla and more soot=ash oak/spirit/oak/spirit. Ralfy brilliantly spots camomile. There’s a touch of witch hazel with black currant tannins and sour lemons, not to mention the saltiness that has accompanied the malt since developing on the palate.
C: This purchase came with quite some hype and some pressure to buy before stocks ran dry. Apparently case loads were being pre-bought before shops had even received their assignments. Though I had a few stirrings in the emotional department, this whisky won me over more on an academic level.Scores an A-