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Imperial, the only lost-distillery still suited for a poor man’s pockets (under the €100) ? Not anymore, with this release of the whisky mercenary, I’m paying for the first time more than a hundred for a bottle of Imperial goodness. These are truly sad times, gents and ladies. But who knows, a 17yo whisky with the stamp of approval from Belgium’s favourite independent bottler (according to whiskybase that is), Jurgen Vromans (aka. The Whisky Mercenary), it might well be worth my hard earned pennies.
Description: matured for 17 year in a refill sherry hogshead, bottled at the customary 50% ABV level for the Exclusive Range of G&M licensed for the Whisky Mercenary.
Nose: a fresh nose of pineapple, malt mash, a dash of banana liquor, pear juice, with an eucalyptus edge (with water added: the fruity tones grow boisterous. Unchillfiltered: a dash of water turns it cloudy)
Mouth; heavy on the alcohol with a creamy body. On the palate: pepper strong enough to wake the dead, notes of melon, orange peel and nutmeg. (with water added: the pepper breaks through the last line of defence sending a tingling down your throat)
Finish: drying, vanilla and nutmeg
Verdict: an uncharacteristic Imperial, if I may say so. Never would have identified it in a blind tasting. But nonetheless a highly enjoyable (and my colleagues at the office agree) dram.