Never in my wildest dreams had I dreamed of trying this one before I actually bumped into it at this whisky festival on Saturday. The price tag of about 700$ is really too expensive for me, so I am really thankful for having had an opportunity to try it, because...frankly, if I ever bought a bottle, I'd be really disappointed. Not because of the whisky, but because of the fact that for this price I could get a few bottles of my favorites that are equally good. All that being said, here it is...
NOSE: (without water) fruity, rounded, floral, apricots, ripe peaches. At first, this whisky is really gentle. It doesn't shout, it whispers. Vanilla sponge cake (delicious!). Now, there is also this subjective sensation you get out of it which is to do with sweetness. Here, it is beautifully polished, like a Rolls Royce surface, unlike the velvety kind of sweetness you get from a lot of other whiskies, if that makes sense. There is also an immature alcohol kick that I've preciously found in a few rums. (with water) It becomes richer in the vanilla department, pizza crust (funnily enough), bergamot black tea leaves. 23/25
TASTE: explosion of dried fruits (raisins). It needed water to really open up into fruitiness and vanilla, as well as revealing a noticeable tobacco note. 22/25
FINISH: a little bit drying with just a hint of peat. Medium length. After adding water you get a vanilla cake here as well. 21/25
BALANCE: 24/25 - nothing is out of place here. Very nice and smooth.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: a beautiful experience, but it's not worth the money you'd pay for a bottle.
The 18 is very good. The 25 is out of my reach for now. But you're right. For $700usd I could buy 10 bottles of Arran 14 or 9 bottles of Glenfarclas 12, the list goes on. The Glenmorangie Lasanta I bought yesterday was $55+tax. So what like 12 bottles? This is a fun "would you rather" game.
Four Ardbeg Tens
Five Laphroaig 10 CSs
One crazy Octomore
One Springbank 10
And one Old Grand-Dad 114