N: You could not concoct this in the finest lab or kitchen in a thousand years. With some OBE, we begin with that familiar chocolatey maltiness seen in many an old bottle, regardless of distillery. Changes in the glass are rapid. Compared to the previous two, this Balblair speaks of peat and notes more akin to the garage than the garden – oils, soot, treated and un-treated woods, varnishes, paints certainly, solutions, white spirit, turpentine,… I grab my Nocino [WA], now a shelf staple. There IS something of a walnut vibe here, not fusty yet earthy and with dried figs for certain. This is decidedly tincture-y also, though not rootsy enough for valerian, more a Neal’s Yard tincture mix – say echinacea, elderberry and olive leaf – and with a savoury miso-y gravy edge, dried sage, wine gums,…. I can’t imagine how this will play out on the palate?,….
T: ,…. Desirably is what! The palate again talks of a tincture-y, earthy, savoury~sweet concentrated chew with some fruity/herbal bitterness and savoury liqueurs. This earthy liquid oakiness is more rootsy than on the nose. Whilst sometimes sweeter, sometimes it’s the savoury earthy bitterness that is brought to the fore. Fascinating development.
F: A very long complex compote finish with a distinct gravy-dry mouthfeel at the roof of the mouth [corn starch-dry], but this is alongside all manner of savoury-bitter-sweet complexities already previously suggested including the miso berry-fruit rootsy tincture-y medicinal ‘jus’ with dried herbal melted wine gums – what the?!? Sweet and grassy at the death.
C: Sensational whisky! Less emotion-provoking than the official 35yo, more intellectually moreish [on the day]. I’d imagine every bottle will vary. Add a case to my desert island order.