Nose: Orange/peach/almond are most prominent. Supplemented by: their blossoms, moist coffee grounds, light cherry/plum, and a tad ginger/lemon zest. The aromas are evident but fairly light.
Palate: No sting at all, at any point. A smooth entrance of creamy orange-pear marmelade containing not-too-hot ginger. It gets oilier in the mouth (something I do not recall experiencing before at only 43%), with little alteration of the entrance flavors-- they just sustain and fade slowly.
Finish: Soft, with lingering creaminess and still just a bit sweet: with something like peach cream, or a vague impression of a latte. Eventually develops light cocoa notes onto that sweet cream.
There is no doubt that this is a wonderful digestif. Of course, I can criticize it for lacking complexity (no real palate or nose evolution, no attention-grabbing spices), so it is not quite to the level of e.g. HP30. And at only 43%..., its character is lighter than e.g. the Signet's or Sonnalta's (46%). It is perhaps just too easy and smooth, but the fact is that I just want to keep drinking this. Aside from being utterly smooth, the creamy mouthfeel is a unique selling point, relative to similar malts.
The closest malts that I've had are the Glenlivet 25 (which is zestier and not as creamy or completely smooth), and the Aberlour 18 (which is a "relative steal" at 1/4 the price, despite lacking the same syrupy smoothness).
Thanks for the great review, very astute. I gave this whisky roughly the same score as you. But this is something that I'll enjoy at a friend's place or at a whisky festival. As wonderful as it is, I don't think the price tag of this (albeit wonderful) dram is justified. Damn good but damn expensive.
@hunggar Thanks! And also for your own review. Your "ginger ale" bit stuck with me while tasting (though of course it is "flat" ginger ale!).
Clearly I need to find your festivals-- or your friends.... Very upscale if they're serving this! So I have to agree. This dram should go in people's "must try" list, but not "must buy".