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This might be hard to find. It’s a limited release for the travel retail industry, and apparently it’s not easy to come across. But if you can find it, buy it. I love it. Usually I give top marks to big peat monsters or powerfully-flavoured cask strength whiskies. Not here. This one embodies subtlety, delicacy, maturity, and nuance.
Nose: Honey, wax, sherry, apples, peaches, cinnamon, fermented orchard fruit, musty oak, sawdust, woodspices, Fruity, musty, and complex.
Palate: Cream, butter, vanilla fudge, guava, bitter tangerines, pie crust, white wine, milk tea, burnt grass.
Finish: More citrus/guava bitterness, sour apples, sweet pears, peaches, fermented fruit, butter, oak, charcoal, roasted nuts, baking spices, touches of sherry as well as white wine. A metallic note lingers. Long, fruity, bitter, and drying.
Perhaps one of the most delicately nuanced whiskies I’ve tried. It was shy at first, but over time has become more intense. If you’re expecting an older version of the 15, don’t. Both are fruity, but the 15 is much more sherry-forward, rounded, and sweet. If anything, the 18 appears to be a continuation of the 12, with its tannic influences and a delicate balance of bitter and sweet. The bitterness of the finish may be a bit challenging for some, but the sophistication, complexity, and subtlety of this whisky has me rapt. This score would be higher still if it weren’t for an odd metallic taste that lingers. A mature whisky for a mature palate. Brilliant.