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The second of the three malts purchased recently during my trip up and down the eastern seaboard of Australia!
According to all the PR blurb on the bottle and the box, this dram is finished in port barrels, and it really shows through in the nose. A definite port taste is there beneath everything. Over the top come notes of black current, red grapes, caramel, new leather and gentle tobacco. Really pleasant and quite complex.
The taste is much like the nose, with the port-like base over which come the same black current and red grapes, caramel, leather and tobacco, but the taste is also richer and creamier. The taste carries much more muscle than the smell (which is hardly anaemic). A really decent meaty whisky.
The finish is just a shade disappointing, not by taste, but by length. Initially very caramelly, this fades leaving port, black current and leather as the dominating notes. But, as good as the finish tastes, within two minutes my palate is basically clear.
So what do you do with a meaty rich dram that doesn't have a long finish? Well, I remember once doing a beer tasting with some representatives from Lion Nathan (a pretty big beer conglomerate in Australia), and they talked about some beers being 'session' beers. Which meant they were beers you drank when you were sitting down to have a beer drinking session. So they were meaty drinking beers. This is the whisky equivalent. Lot's of character, plenty of flavour, but hard to keep in your hand for more than about 15 or so minutes -the kind of whisky you drink when you sit down with two or three mates to polish off a bottle in a couple of hours. A proper 'session' whisky.