Buds & Barrels has its very first real own release! Congratulations Tom. It was a young Inchgower that matured on a PX Quarter Cask, which immediately explains the inviting color. 'The Sticky Label' is the name of the series, 'Vintage War Series' the tagline. That promises for the future. It already looks very nice. But is it also tasty? Fingers crossed. Now, I don't doubt Tom's good taste, but I don't really have a lot of experience with Inchgower myself. It's only my 13th meeting with this Speysider... Not that I'm superstitious, though. Let's get started!
Oh... That's special. The nose is wonderfully sweet, but at the same time also quite umami. I get raisins and chocolate, but also roast beef and a drop of balsamic syrup. It works fine. After a few minutes of breathing, there is still a handful of hazelnuts and walnuts involved, strawberry jam, rhubarb jelly, fresh figs and something that reminds me of a freshly polished saddlebag. All the way in the background, but not at all disturbing, a hint of freshly chopped logs. Very pleasant, all of it.
Nice full body and immediately heavily seasoned with black pepper, cloves and a nice salty edge that gives the sweet fruit, which returns in full glory, some resistance. The wood herbs are perfectly dosed, the spirit was not dominated by the PX cask. That's often the case with such Quarter Casks. Not here. Great balance. With the second sip I notice something nice sweet and sour, like a grapefruit soaked in honey.
The finish lasts a very long time, is heartwarming and just like the nose sweet and umami. It makes me long for a Chesterfield in front of the fireplace.
A whisky to enjoy which can completely deny its young age. This is a beautiful, mature and complex malt. Kudos, Tom!