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This was a generous sample given to me by a very good friend; I decided to pop it open on a beautiful spring day, and boy does it fit for the occasion.. a surprising characteristic of most good whiskies ;)
On the nose: truth be told, based on the color, I initially assumed a bourbon cask, but on the first few whiffs, I'm getting raisins, sun rype bar/fruit roll up, bit of chocolate fudge which tells me that there's a fairly vibrant sherry cask at work here.... bit more time gives me some apple notes and a slight bit of biscuitiness that would hint at some bourbon cask too.... just my guess anyways. Either way, very pleasant and enjoyable nose. great start
Palate: mm this is pretty nice feeling, it's got a good oiliness that seems to ooze into a lot of the crevices in your mouth. I love it when a whisky does that. Palate has some tang - lemon, oranges... citrusy, honey, some high quality papaya (read that as the papaya flavor sans the vomity flavor you get at the tail end of bad papaya), seems to be like some relatively loud vanilla and some ginger. Confusing - where's the sherry my nose picked up? more Bourbon than sherry characteristics. Nonetheless, the bourbon notes are fairly good. I find it similar to some of the Benriach bourbon matured single casks that I'm really fond of.
Finish: this sticks around for quite a while. pleasant bit of fruity stickiness with some "pineapple bun" -> reference to what the chinese call a "boloh bao". yum
Ok, I liked this a lot, this is very good whisky... then I went to check out the price and immediately balked. $190 CAD in Alberta, Canada. As I mentioned, there's some single cask benriachs that this drink makes me think of, but they're a fraction of the price. there's some cheaper bourbon matured Arran which I liked better, and this list of comparables could go on. On that note, maybe my palate's off, but I feel like there should be some more obvious sherry notes, but perhaps I'm just not picking them up, the palate seems like it's more or less all bourbon. If you want a good solid whisky, sure you can't go wrong with this, but I might be able to get my hands on 2x bottles of other stuff I'd like a similar amount for the price of one of these bottles.