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I had my eye on this whisky for some time (I admit to being persuaded by Ian Buxton's compelling description of this blend in his original "101 Whiskies" book). However, priced prohibitively at nearly $200 by our local liquor extortion racket (the LCBO), tasting it was to remain an unrealized dream. Until, inexplicably, they lowered the price to $99. I'd like to think that someone in the corporate hierarchy had pangs of conscience for the years of gouging we Ontarians have had to (and continue to) endure, but I'm sure the decision to lower the price was much more pragmatic.
Nose: rich and smooth. Grape juice, honey, orange marmalade, sweet tobacco, soft grains, and a hint of mint.
Palate: a sweet and silky delivery with a rich, coating mouth feel. Honey and grapes again, with orange cream, soft grains, red fruits, there's that mint again, and delicate spice (cinnamon and clove). It's everything Buxton describes, and more.
Finish: the palate fades gently but with a long finish. Remnants of bitter orange and honey, with an echo of grape juice.
A fantastic whisky. It may have even been worth the $200...