This second whisky from Glen Breton elicited from me even more excitement than the first. This is a 17 year old cask strength whisky that is finished for 4 months in Ortega Ice Wine barrels from Jost Vineyards, Nova Scotia. I acquired a bottle as a gift, saving me the $46 for a 250ml bottle.
I was quite curious, primarily, about the effects of age on Glen Breton whisky. I was also curious to sample Glen Breton as cask strength, and to see what effect the ice wine barrels had on the whisky. I gave this whisky every opportunity with every combination of time and water. Nonetheless, calamity ensued.
Nose: hot alcohol astringency, but some sweet grape from the ice wine cask manages to peak through.
Palate: hot, with honey, cereal, and floral perfume. A similar profile to the 10 year old, mellowed with age but astringent due to the high ABV (and probably several other reasons)
Finish: hot and long, the most prominent feature being the toasted grain profile.
This whisky requires a very generous dollop of water to tame the hotness and astringency. With water:
Nose: the subtle grape is subdued, but a lingering fruity sweetness is discernible. Bananas, nuts, cereal, mild perfume, similar to Glen Breton 10.
Palate: still quite hot, with a sweet and sour tussle. Cereal.
Finish: long, spicy, and sour. Perfume and toasted oak notes linger with some fruit before the finish gives way to a prolonged spicy sourness.
I am disappointed. The addition of water does little to tame the astringency, instead muting the other flavour profiles. If you like hot and sour soup, this is your whisky.