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No, there's no chocolate notes here, but the feel of a candy factory is very much present. This Irish whiskey is so full of fruit candy notes, it's almost like a fantasy. Like being in Willy Wonka's place. If this dram was music, it would be Roy Orbison’s Candy Man.
It was part of our local Irish whiskey tasting and won (Redbreast 15yo came close second). I scored it 95 points first but ended up making the score even one point bigger. And notice the taste, full 25 points. Not often a dram gets full points in taste by me.
This is a heavenly whiskey, the price tag is too but what can you say...it is a 21 year old great whiskey. Unlike with a mystery NAS, with this one, the price is more justified.
Nose: Starts with rubber and musty oak notes. Cereal notes are strong, like aromas from a crisp bread or some fresh hard (Finnish) rye bread. Bit fruity with some nice dark, roasted coffee buried deep on the back. Time and water add sweetness, hints of sugary marzipan and a spicy sherry twist.
Taste: Pure greatness – fruit candy with little hints of that sweet marzipan again (fortunately not overly sweet marzipan). Fresh peppermint drops develop over time. Water adds some creamy toffee and caramel notes. Surprisingly water makes it even better in every step, even though the ABV is "only" 40%.
Finish: Very smooth with nice small bitter notes. The oil feel is like velvet, cactus and grape notes rise up with some time in the glass and water. Tobacco is in the aftertaste too.
Balance: Great, amazing, rich – the best Irish whiskey I've ever had. In great balance, very versatile.