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NOSE: straight out of a newly opened bottle - a touch of bacon smoke. Very balanced, complex nose with pears, hint of dry oak, some medicinal note as well. After a short while, hazelnuts, toffee come to the forefront. With a drop of water and some time, I got some delicious custard, nutty, spicy custard at that. Raisins, prunes, cinnamon rolls and yeasty bread. Very elegant nose which is brimming with nuances.The empty glass smelled of Demerara sugar.
TASTE: Without water it came on sweet with a touch of salt, complex with a very fast development of flavors and a fairly short finish. But as it sat in the glass for some time, it opened up beautifully with bread, oak, nutty, spice fruitcake. It's hard to pick flavors apart, since they all work as one in a very harmonious way. A drop of water releases more peppery, spicy notes with toffee and some bitterness. Delicious, rich fruitcake.
FINISH: not particularly long, but sweet along with some mineral notes as well. Slightly drying with a hint of peat.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: a very beautiful speyside whisky with a very nice complex, restrained character. Slight bitterness in taste along with a hint of smoke add more "bad boy" characteristics which beautifully balance out that what is otherwise a delicious speyside fruitcake.