Eating treacle tarts whilst sitting by smoking machinery. Smoke is immediate and is sooty and ashy and very ‘engine room’ (I seem to find Bunna’s Moine this way a lot of the time). Sitting directly alongside this is a huge treacle and toffee hit from some serious exposure to quite active Oloroso casks. There’s an almost meaty note which tastes like animal hides and leathers, and a fair amount of dried berries and incredibly overripe bananas here. Meaty and fruit – like a whole meal in one! A hint of earthiness tied to the peating, and the slightest touches of coffee, chocolate and polish. With water added (we were always going to be trying that when starting at 60.1% ABV right?) the smoke becomes less prevalent, but more pungent – a dirty and salty peat now – and the dried fruits come out to play more. It’s a very different dram in fact.
Rich and pretty viscous. It’s certainly ‘clingy’ on the palate, though not immediately tannic per se. Leathers again with raisins and heavily spiced toffee apples. There’s a real pepperiness running throughout the experience, which when combined with some sweetness from demerara sugar makes for quite a lovely balance of sweet vs bitter. With water added the bite of the 60.1% is reduced, but somehow only moves us away from viscous to a rather ‘chewy’. Oak spicing is enhanced with some maritime-esque salts coming through and a very intriguing chalky taste which is both cold and metallic. Again, water transforms this dram into something rather different.
Fairly long finish which is slightly astringent and drying and favours the peppery oak spicing notes. Water doesn’t seem to alter the flavours of the finish but does reduce its length.