gift sample from a friend
Nose: I love these things - nothing coy about it. Vanilla, honey, and an obvious, not overwhelming, dose of wood. Some clean peat&smoke combo, and flowers. This has all the hallmarks of a HP. Fruit hangs out in some of the layers as well: peaches, pears, apples in nougat. Pinch of salt. Honey-caramel. Rich and delicious. Maybe even a little menthol. Lots of fine sherry comes out with time, along with fresh nuts (as odd as that sounds, nuts can be freshly picked, right?) Great stuff. Definitely worth the wait.
Palate: Thick and punchy, the way we like these sort of honeyed whiskies so they don't all turn out to be the same. If honey were magically alcohol, this could be it. It does have a heavy dose of wood riding throughout, but it carries vanilla and smoky peat with it. A little chocolate-coffee cake, spiced, and with a few burned corners, but still buttery moist in the far backdrop. The sherry fruits are a bit lighter here than the nose, but it's a very gentle mixture of them all.
Finish: Lots of all the same, and a hint of the smokiness remains. Honey, vanilla, salt, sherried fruit, coffee liqueur, malt chocolate. Minutes later, I even got a hint of shellfish, very nice all the way. The oak was a little loud for me on the palate, even as it kept the whole from being too sweet. It's thick, rich, flavorful, and very well made with the usual mix of HP goodness. It's just delicious.