I've had this bottle open a couple of months now, but haven't been hitting it hard. Preferring to finish a few other bottles I had open off first. There's about 2/3 of the bottle left. I knew as soon as I opened it, it was good.
Nose - some grapefruit, porridge oats, white wine vinegar and demerara sugar.
Palate - big arrival, quite solventy. Rice wine, lemon juice, barley sugar and fisherman's friend's (british cough sweet that I hate but its quite nice in this). Quite malty. A thick viscous mouth feel.
Finish-long with a hint of peat and finishes quite dry and salty.
With water-I get some pineapple on the nose and the finish is more mellowed, but shorter.
I don't think water helps this malt. It's an unashamed bruiser and water tames it a bit.
I would describe this as a good old fashioned scotch. But I've never drank a good old fashioned malt, so it would be a lie. But it's how I imagine whisky was 30 years ago.
Closest comparison I can think of is Benromach 10. The 100 proof stuff that beats you up a bit. It's quite similar to that, which is a good thing because that is an excellent whisky for the price too. Not an easy drinking malt. If you gave this to a whisky newb you'd turn them onto gin.
I'll definitely be getting another bottle when I've finished this one.