Rich and fresh. Red berries (particularly raspberries), blackcurrants and an assortment of candied peels provide a lively fruity opener. These are followed by chocolate, raisins, home baked biscuits and some nuttiness. In the background there’s both maltiness and some very natural earthiness – wet leaves and waterlogged wood. The addition of water really helps define the fruit element of this whisky, bringing out strawberries in particular. It also heightens natural sugars and adds some pastry aromas.
By the power of Greyskull – that’s a big and brassy arrival. Huge, fruits, sugars and pepper take a moment to recover from. Once calmed, the development is quite expansive, delivering red berries and demerara sugars then swiftly moving into chocolate cake and tobacco. Once your palate has got to grips with those, a huge wave of spiciness takes grip – strong black pepper and chilli – growing in intensity across the palate. Once this subsides, background flavours of wood char and damp soil earthiness come through nicely. By golly this needs some water – so let’s add some: Now, a lot calmer and more reserved – but no less expressive. Fruits are juicy and ripe, and we start to get some cask influence coming through – vanilla, sappy wood and some ginger. The whisky is also a lot more naturally malty when diluted down a touch.
Medium to long and highly spicy – pepper and a wee touch of salt in the tail.