Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
Nose: Balsa wood, Demerara sugar syrup, persimmons, roasted blood oranges, and a salty beach.
Flavor: Quite a syrupy body, like an old Highland Park but without the distinctive Orkney peat, wildflower honey, marigold petals. It all feels caramelized. The malt is the foundation of the above and waiting in the wings is vanilla bean paste hugging the sides of your tongue. Notes are the same with water but everything gets a bit tinted with a floral attitude. It's sweet and savory all at once.
Finish: Peat arrives unmistakably, but gently. One gets the sense you have a sweaty upper-lip as you've been standing next to a crackling fire. The initial malt starts to get charred. All of the flavors mentioned prior harmonize into one singular note (in a poetic way!) as if to say, "the song is finished."
Summary: At $100 at my local shop, this whisky drinks like a $400 bottle in my eyes. It really pushes all of my buttons which is why I've rated it so highly. If I were tasting this blind (I tried to avoid reading Compass Box's description until after tasting) I would think this were some kind of mildly sherried Brora (of late 70s character) or a Brora and Highland Park hybrid.
Compass Box is really pushing the idea that this whisky is "meaty" due to its high proportion of Mortlach, and while I don't disagree it has a Mortlach swagger, I don't pick up that overt meatiness that I recall being present in the Flora and Fauna bottling some years back. I had such a great time with this whisky. It reminded me of heavy-hitters from 10 or 15 years ago that I recall with splendor.