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So I opened a bottle of one of my all time favourite daily drams yesterday, and whilst browsing through my old reviews I realised I had missed this one! The shame!
So it's time to put that right.
Nose Well balanced with both savoury and sweet elements. The smoke is up front but not overpowering, instead it works to frame the flavour profiles that lurk beyond. Ripe green apple... also stewed with cinnamon. Caramel as it cooks. A very subtle waft of smoked ham with maybe a sprinkle of cayenne pepper?
Palate Oily and chewy with plenty of caramel, mossy earth notes, bitter green cooking apples and a healthy serving of oaky smoke. There's less here than is suggested by the nose but it delivers.
Finish The finish is simple and oily.. it's sweet and smokey... the sweetness carried by orange.. both elements linger for quite some time for a younger expression.
Conclusion Satisfying is how I would describe this whisky. It is not, and has never been (in my experience) a class topping dram. But what it is, is done wonderfully. It's cheap, has plenty of character but remains (for an Islay) simple and accessible at the same time. I cannot imagine a time where a bottle of this isn't close at hand or even open in my cupboard, and at this price... why would I ever have to.