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I bought this bottle quite some time ago, and served it at the office, and at a tasting some while back - but have never sat and appreciated it to review. So it has had quite a bit of time in contact with air.
A very light golden honey colour. On the nose you get clean, fresh malt, lemon citrus, very sweet vanilla. Very little depth to the nose but sweet and pleasant.
In the mouth, just as sweet, like brown sugar, vanilla, and a lot of citrus. Without knowing it was a Highland finished in virgin oak (freshly charred new oak barrels from Bardstown KY) I would have said it was a Speyside that had spent less than 8 years in bourbon but finished for a wee bit in a sherry cask (though the light colour would prove that wrong). A little water tames the sweetness and brings forward some more of the malt and citrus.
Finish is medium length. I do like this - it's very well balanced and makes for a nice light breezy whisky - a good choice for a summer afternoon. Some of those at the office who dislike whisky tried it and loved it, and I can see why. Jim Murray says "Don't expect this to taste anything like Scotch", but I wouldn't go that far. I would have preferred a little more complexity, but if you're going to buy something that says "Virgin Oak", you're not going to get that, I suppose. By the way, this is a very good deal - about $40CDN I think, though I no longer see it at the LCBO.