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For my first review of 2017, and in anticipation of a self-imposed dry spell starting January 3, I have chosen to review this bottle head to head with a cask strength exclusive store 10th anniversary bottling.
This bottle was bought at the end of 2015, was opened December 14, has been gassed and is 80% full.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Neat – Smoke, peat, lemon. Light syrup. Slight mustiness. Fruity. 22/25
With water – slightly more spirity, similar profile. A little more vegetal, some menthol. (21/25)
Neat– Peat explosion. Sour and sweet, citrus. A bit bitter. 21/25
With water – A little thinner, more menthol, citrus and sweet peat dominate. 22/25
Finish: Bitterness lasts through the finish, ashy. No significant change with water. 21/25
Balance: This is a very unidimentional dram. It’s good, but very little complexity. The peat is at the forefront. 22/25
Score: Neat - 86 /100
With Water: 86 /100
Neat, I definitely like this over the 10th anniversary CS, but with water, it’s a toss-up and although I give both the same score I probably would give the CS version a slight edge.
I like this, though I find this is a one trick pony at this time. What I remember of my last bottle was that it started off as a true peat monster but with time the peat diminished and the flavours became a bit more complex. I hope that happens with this bottle as well.
At the end of the tasting I mixed the two together and the result was extremely pleasant.