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This is one I've been meaning to try for some time now, and fortunately, it became available to me at a very reasonable price. This bottle has only been open for a couple of weeks now. Apparently, it is made with un-peated malt, and is aged in a combination of ex-bourbon and ex-sherry casks. A unique bottle, but frustrating that you can't see the level.
NOSE: Initially port, cherry, dark red fruits. (Disclaimer: I've never actually had a glass of sherry before, but when I nose this, it reminds me of port.) It is somehow different to the usual sherry influenced malts I've encountered. Stewed fruits, with dried fruit in the background. There's a sweetness not sickly so, offset with burnt sugar. The wood is definitely there too, quite spicy. Unfortunately, the port note is fleeting, but it has been there with every glass from the bottle so far.
PALATE: A delicious, mouth filling combination of sherry fruitiness and spicy oak. A distinctive salty tang that creeps down the sides of the tongue. The spices, clove, nutmeg, linger - almost a little too much for me. The winey notes are still there and also something floral - almost like geraniums. Nuttiness, hazelnut, and a sweet malty background. I don't notice smoke, except a nod to some lapsang suchong tea.
FINISH: Dominated by woody spiciness, quite spicy. Burnt toffee and brine. The wood spices keep on going.
I'm really enjoying this. It's often described as a gentle Islay whisky. The box mentions "fondly known for its wonderfully gentle taste". I was worried it was going to be boring or too light for my tastes. Thankfully, it has quite a bit going on. The spiciness is quite unexpected and builds quite powerfully. Un-peated, but with the gentlest whiff of smoke.