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Having heard alot about this particular whisky I decided to buy one for myself and see what all the hype was about. The bottle looks fantastic and the liquid itsef is a dark amber which is exceptionally inviting. I don't know if this colouration (yes I am English) is down to the addition of colouring or not but at this point I'm not too bothered.
Nose: Something new to me, a strong scent of sherry mix with a decisively smokey wood. Orkney peat comes to the fore and I begin to understand why so many people rate this particular whisky, the way it opens up as I swirl my glass is fantastic. Oranges? Thats a new one but I'm sure I can taste them. A final burst of citrus is all I can take before I take a sip!
Palate: Wow, thick fresh English honey arrives with a start. Followed by an impressively powerful burst of smoke, not too much but enough to make my mouth water. I take another sip and realise that I have only just scratched the surface, the dram takes up a floral note and brings me to a warm meadow as the sun crests above the trees. I accidentally poured a double helping and I'm glad I did! The complexity is quite impressive for a 12 year.
Finish: Ok, No tingling present on my tongue. Dry and smokey finish leaving an almost herbal touch. Heather? I'm sure thats heather! Never thought I could be sitting in Essex thinking of HEATHER! Alas I am.. and god it feels right! Nice long finish, the oiliness of this whisky allows it to coat your tongue and throat. Allowing the flavours to stay with you and evolve.
So my conclusion... this may come as a surprise to some of you but this dram is nothing special. it's different and has obviously been perfected over years of trials. I prefer the Aberlour 12 over this but find that the smoke within this dram cannot be ignored! I swear I will never have a cabinet without a bottle of this! But that doesn't mean its special.. It just means it is a bloody good dram!