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Well, this St. Andrews' dram is a wee on the wild side, and unpredictable to boot, but not overtly striking enough to send me back to the store for another bottle after this one is gone.
Draping my tongue with the ichor is not an unpleasant sensation, but it does not compare with the best whiskies that I've been fortunate enough to sample and own.
The nose evokes rotten apples in late fall with a hint of the Sandy River in summer time. This river tumbles down from Mt. Hood in Oregon and flows over sandy beds filled with leaves from maple, oak, and birch trees. I also am reminded of a steaming apple turnover pastry from Petite Provence bakery, which is run by French owners and bakers.
St. Andrews Links opens with a cheese-like consistency that evokes Cotswold minus the chives.
The mid-note goes up suddenly into a bourbon-like high reminiscent of Knob Creek but without the heat and in a much smoother vein.
Finish: Hints of the scent of wet ferns on the forest loam with oak leaves decomposing pleasantly. And again the cheese-like hints that finally open into a mild blue/savory composition reminding me of Castello.
Interspersed are butter brickle hints throughout the arc.
I would say this whiskey goes a bit flat after five minutes in the glass. The heat leaves and it mellows considerably, as to be expected.
It would compliment a cheese plate quite well with green apples. I might also venture to say that it would go well with a creme brulee for desert. Chocolate would challenge it, perhaps not to advantage. A main course featuring eggs or dairy would actually go quite well with this one. Dare I say quiche at the risk of seeming unmanly? Oh well. It's done now.
This whiskey did not impress me, but it didn't let me down either. It is strange and uncharacteristic, somewhat bland, and a bit on the savory side. The mid-note is overpowering and the finish is long but "cheesy" (quite literally, in a good way). One thing I noticed was the way it seemed to waver between the high note and finish, almost as if it could not make up its mind to let the high note go. I can only characterize this quality as less than sophisticated when compared with other single malt whiskies of the same approximate age.