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I didn't really pay attention to this bottle when I first saw it. To start with it's a tin and one dent makes it bothersome to store and something about the artwork didn't grab me. Later, when I realised it was a vatting from the six whisky Islands of Scotland (Islay, Jura, Skye, Mull, Orkney and Arran ), I was excited. I'm fond of the Island expressions (polarised on Jura though...) and was keen to see if six styles can be captured in one bottle.
The colour is very pale (no artificial colouring), like watered down apple juice for babies - not that you should take that as an endorsement to liquor up your babies.
Nose: Peat, a Highland Park/Talisker/Islay peat, honey, sea salt, bacon, ushering through the peat and the Highland Park dominates and comes to the forefront.
Taste: Oily, honey, salt
Finish: Peat on the finish, lingering longer with citrus on the back of the tongue
The highlight of this whisky is the nose and finish. The taste itself is lost between the nosing and finish and is somewhat reserved. If this is what vatting young single malts produce, then why are more bottlers not doing this? My first impressions are strong.
Good start? That's about to change.
I let the bottle sit for 48 hours and make the following notes:
Nose: Honey, sea salt, grassy
Taste: Oily, white pepper, honey, butter, salt
Finish: Salt, the peat has reduced to a quarter of its previous strength and makes for a short finish lacking in depth
Is this the same bottle? The profile has shifted and not for the best. The peat and Highland Park nose is gone. The taste is almost the same. It’s the nose and finish that has changed drastically and makes it flat and lacking in complexity. This is a bland and subdued imitation of its former self.
Previously I tried a sample of this expression in a store and it lacked the peaty nose and finish. As I have had a repeat of this experience I suspect this is a result of oxidisation. It's not offensive, it's nice, and it lost what made it strong.