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This one is the fifth release of their small batch, cask strength, non-chill-filtered 10 year old, matured in first-fill bourbon barrels. I always look forward to these releases!
The colour is a light gold. On the nose we have lots of honey and vanilla - the cask influence is apparent, even after only 10 years. The light peat stays in the background. Hints of liquorice, cumin, orange pith, peach and malt - and maltier with water. Very nice but surprisingly shy.
On the palate the ABV comes forward with hot alcohol, chili pepper and lime. Oily and mouth coating. The peat still takes a back seat, though. Papaya. Sea spray. Black liquorice. Hint of honey. Water brings out malt and brine. Love it.
The finish is chalky, ashen and very citrusy - and very long. Although it seems to have less oomph than previous Tempest releases (especially on the nose), this somehow has both strength and delicacy. Jim Murray scores it a 90.5; I'm not that high with him on it (I just wish that nose had more power!) but still, this is a beautifully structured peaty Islay.