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Thanks to @Victor for sourcing this bottle for me. This bottle gave us an excuse to meet up, and I am very grateful.
I opened this bottle on Father's Day this year. This tasting was done on 9-9-2013
Nose: Very winey with notes of rubber tires. Also sweet and peaty but at a slightly lower tone then the Galileo. The sweetness is a much higher tone then the Galileo; a soubrette soprano tone – very light and agile sweetness. I am getting soft red fruits (raspberries and strawberries) but with a much stronger undercurrent of wood. Peat is pronounced with a bit more smoke as well. Very nice oaky woodiness balances out the intense sweetness very nicely. There is much more depth then the Galileo with all that wood. This is like a log cabin nose: cozy simple fire, wood furniture with stuffed animals on the wall. With water: still very intense. Not much change. More lemon
Taste: Higher sweetness then the Galileo, and now comes honey and peat. Still some distinct woodiness and peat below it. Very nice and salty.
Finish: Very sharp peat, salt, and iodine finally break through the candied sweetness. This is much more intense then the Galileo (or the L13 TEN for that matter). Tons of salt and peat fires! Smoke and anise . . . interesting. Peat wave followed by slow undulating sweetness. This is more of a honey coated peat monster. I would say this tastes like “gold” peat. Long fire in the mouth. This doesn’t destroy your mouth; it just leaves it smoldering like an autumn leaf fire.
Balance, Complexity: Not quite as complex on the nose as the Galileo (I hope time will change that a bit). Less balanced then the Galileo (by a nose). There is a sharpness here I like much better. This also has a more luxurious feel in the mouth and in the finish. Again, neither the Galileo nor the Ardbog are a “beast.” However, this has more of a fight – and I like that!
Aesthetic experience: A shade more amber then the Galileo: darker and more orangie. (looks the sexiest). I really like this bottle. I love the name, the label, the fact that it says ncf (and apparently no coloring) and 52.1%!!! love it. I even like the marketing better then the Galileo.
Conclusion: A much better special release then Galileo. Still, this isn't any better then most batches of Corry and Uigeadial: different . . . but the standard line is fantastic as is in my opinion.