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As I swirled the syrupy liquid in the glencairn and the pungent aroma of caramel and vanilla wafted toward me, I looked over at the bottle and said 'ooohh...Im going to regret you, aren't I?'
I've been drinking whisky for long enough and learned enough now that I have certain expectations- not many, at this price point, but above all, I expect honesty. This whisky seems to be nothing that it claims and manages to be even less besides.
As I mentioned before, the nose is heavy with vanilla and caramel: that stays all the way down, with a syrupy sweetness that overwhelms the taste until the finish, where you get a hint of what's underneath- a good, solid 100 proof hit of what could potentially be what the bottle claims to be- a bare-ass shot whisky.
After the initial tasting, I thought I'd try a couple things- as a shot, it's tolerable but still a bit over-sweet: with ice the vanilla alas comes out even more but the grain (which is not very sophisticated at all it turns out) comes up a bit but the effect dismantles what little art seems to have been made. With a bit of water, it's drinkable, so long as you don't pay too close attention: it left me not actually wanting to finish the glass- never a good sign.
This is my first review on this site- and it says something, I think, that I finally felt compelled to say something. This is not the rough fun-loving drink of Old Pulteney, or the simple working-class Power's Gold- it's more like the girl at the bar that seems like a good idea, but once you get up close even in the dim light of the bar you can see she's wearing too much makeup and possibly a wig, and is wearing some sort of perfume that reminds you of one of your aunts: you might take her home at the end of the night if you have nothing better on, but you know you could do better.