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I'm suspicious of expensive whisky and enthusiastic about cheaper whisky. I think that there is so much exploring to do below £50 that you could live your whole life in a state of complete satisfaction and never spend more on a bottle. There is absolutely no denying though - this is money well spent, all £160 ($260).
I read that Strathisla is the backbone here, but like any great malt Chivas is it's own master. Even uncorking it is an experience, the stopper itself hinting at the luxury within followed by a beautiful clarity on the nose.
Nose: Marzipan, oranges,peaches, a first flush of chocolate. Professional tasters get nuts, I don't. Pronounced, it would be aggressive if it wasn't so smooth.
Mouth: Chocolate. Chocolate in a way you don't get with any other whisky i've tasted. It lends itself to the orange/peach rush just behind it for a classic marriage I just didn't think I would taste in whisky and it takes that tingling spiciness and just tames it. I get a gentle earthiness too, and then a touch of nuttiness (for the first time) but this is a whisky greater than the sum of its parts. Very very full and silky in the mouth.
After: Gentleness abounds, incredible after such a complex experience up front. Smoke is the new addition.
Hard to recommend at this price but worth dropping some hints over with Christmas on the way...