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I bought and opened this 200 cc bottle in 2011 or 2012, after watching a Ralfy review. I tried it a few times, most notably when I first tasted samples of AP 25 and 30 (courtesy @Paddockjudge) in preparation for my January 2015 opening of my 2014 Handy at an epic tasting held by @Talexander (where we opened 3 CS BTACs).
The bottle was about half full and had been gassed for some of the time I’ve had it. Tonight I pulled it out to review H2H2H with the 25 and the 30.
This expression, in a Glencairn, is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting. I nosed all the whiskies before tasting them, going from oldest to youngest.
Rye spice, caramel, vanilla. Fruit in the background. Some baking spices. Water makes it a little more syrupy
Sweet arrival. caramel, vanilla, spicy. Bold, but a little too sweet.
Short. Vanilla, tannic.
Good balance, not too complex, a little too sweet.
Comparing the three:
The standard AP had the strongest but least complex nose. The 25 was more floral and rounded, but a little soft. The 30 was the most inviting, complex nose
The 25 was a bit washed out and thin. The standard was bold but a little sweet and unidimentional, and the 30 had bold flavour and some breadth.
Interestingly, water did not have a significant effect on any of them. The NAS gets a little sweeter.
This is not a bad whisky. Given there are so many other choices, I don’t think I’ll be reaching for this under most circumstances.