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I opened this bottle not long after lock down started whilst on a Zoom call with some Canadian friends ... wink wink! I enjoyed this as soon as it was opened but a bit of air has really brought this on as well. Other reviews tend to be quite positive, if not glowing, but there are definitely more than a few that don't seem to get the hype. I like trying these kinds of whiskies though, and the sample I had a while back was enough to (eventually) convince me to grab a bottle.
Review is with a little drop of water and sat for twenty minutes.
Nose - immediate sense of something quite rich and malty yet quite soft at the same time - this is a whisky that definitely needs some patience. Dusty with a slightly creamy malt and barley sugar notes. Fruity too with apricot, raisins, and yellow plums, and quite a lot of spice - think ginger and a little pepper. A little nip of peat and smoke lie at its core. Very welcoming.
Taste - Heavy malty arrival with more dusty dunnage type notes. Again, creamy on the palate and fruity but with more of a candy orange (Jolly Rancher's?) taste. Lots of spice as it develops, like on the nose, but perhaps some cinnamon here too. A big note of toffee sits under it all along with a little touch of peat again.
Finish - Quite long with soft tannins, orange peels, a little liquorice and gingerbread.
I'd probably prefer this neat but it needs a good 45 mins to an hour in the glass to really wake up. A little water does open it up quicker but it loses a touch of the mouthfeel. Still excellent though.
I think I am enjoying this bottle more than the sample I had to be honest. Lots going on here and I really like the heavy malt and fruity notes. Familiar but quite unique in the way it all comes together. Not a 'face grabber', no, this is the kind of malt that one 'melts' into.