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After the Ballantines 1965, 1985 and 2008 I will now try a more recent bottling. The label says this was bottled on the 16th February 2015.
The nose is soft and sweet with an unmistakable smoky edge. Mildly sweet and sour at first whiff, the nose evolves toward young, yellow apples and loads of heather. Some (I would almost say obligatory) vanilla and you can state that this is a flawless and enjoyable nose.
It is nicely oily and peaty from the start. Yes, on the palate, the peated whisky is clearly recognizable. I would say Laffie. The apples, along with the vanilla, have a hard time countering this to keep it accessible. Tasted blind, you might actually confuse this with a young Laphroaig. A little bit of pepper and some salt. Surprisingly peaty (and a lot more than I remember from the older bottlings).
Salty finish, but very short.
This is serious bang for your buck. Thanks, Pat.