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I tried this Black Bottle 10 Year Old at Expensivevino’s place last summer and was allowed to bring home a sample for retasting. This seems as good an occasion as any, during my ‘Peaty Party’ – two full weeks of nothing but peated whiskies. I tried it H2H against the standard bottle.
The nose is rounder and warmer. It shows more sweet peat, but still not much. Less grainy than the younger version. Heather and a couple of drops of lemon concentrate, but also a touch of toffee.
It is somewhat oily, almost creamy, on the palate. This is more Islay than the youngling. Probably because the part of Deanston and grain whisky is less here. Who can tell? Honey, heather, but also seaweed and salted bacon, smoked sausage. Even caramelised onion (and no, Dearly Beloved is not making onion soup as I write this)!
The finish is surprisingly long and warm on spicy, sweet peat.
The 10 Year Old also contains primarily Bunnahabhain, but also malts from the other six distilleries on Islay (so not counting Kilchoman). It is only a few EUR more, but worth it in my opinion, for it shows a lot more character.