A recent review of this expression reminded me that I received a sample of this from @OdysseusUnbound back in 2017. I’ve wanted to try it for a while but I’ve not had an opportunity to sit down with it. Tonight, I got that opportunity.
The bottle was, if I remember correctly, a replacement for a tainted bottle he originally bought at the LCBO. His review can be found here:
The bottle was opened October 2017 and the sample poured, I believe, in November. This expression is reviewed in a Highland whisky glass in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of just a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
On first pour, fruity and sweet. Cherries. Slight vegetal quality. With time the pitch lowers a little bit, with a sour cherry note coming forward. Waiting a little longer, the sherry becomes quite prominent, and the vegetal note seems to diminish. A little bit of baking spice in the background. Adding water seems to make the nose slightly richer. (22/25)
Rich arrival, sweet. Slight alcohol nip. Fruity. A little thin in the development. Not very complex. Water tones down the alcohol burn just a little, and the flavours become a little more complex. (21/25)
Astringent, I get dryness but no flavour. Lasts a pretty long time. Water adds some sweetness to the finish. (20/25)
The taste does not quite deliver what the nose promises. Maybe a little underpowered at 43%, and the complexity just isn’t there. Water improves it just a touch (21/25)
Score: Neat - 81.5/100 With Water: 84/100
Trader Joe’s Milk chocolate compliments it, but does not really improve it.
This isn’t bad. I had considered buying a bottle last year and I’m glad I didn’t, because I already have other whiskies that do a better job of anything this one is trying to do. This experience highlights the importance of a sample-trading network to cut down un-necessary expenses.
Thanks again @odysseusUnbound for this opportunity.
Great review. I enjoyed this whisky the longer it was exposed to air. The last third of the bottle whence came this sample was more enjoyable than the first two thirds. I think @Victor was right when he suggested (in my review of this whisky) that I might like it better if I tucked it away for a year or two. Of course, I'm far too impatient for that.
Did you get any hints of smoke? I feel like there was a tiny bit in there, but I could have been imagining it. Or it could have been barrel notes...
@OdysseusUnbound, well, just go out and buy 20 or 30 new bottles and you shouldn't have much trouble keeping a few of them around for a while. Yeah, I know, those bottles have gotten pricey, so 20 bottles will cost ya more than a little bit.