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This is a very recent bottling with the changed packaging in the UK (giving more alcohol info.) which isn't quite as classy as the most recent incarnation imo. There was no bottling date that I could find . . .
Anyways, I've a soft spot for JW, especially the Black Label, as it was probably the whisky which got me really into the world of 'maltyness', or is that blendyness - you get the idea! Last had a Green Label over two years ago from one of the newly released batches. It was good, if a little flat on the finish but recall it having a lovely nose. So, how's the quality fairing three years on?
Review is from a neat pour and the bottle has been open about six weeks with just over three quarters left
Nose - It was all peat at first but there is more honey and sweetness coming through now. Still a good nip of peat though and I'm leaning more towards the Talisker than Caol Ila but I have been drinking more Talisker of late so who knows? Some grassyness and a hint of coffee infused malt. Sandalwood, some fresh ginger and pine resin. Certainly less engaging than I remember the last bottle being.
Taste - A surprisingly malty arrival given the nose with the peat emerging and taking over. More honey and some lemon sweetness. Mouthfeel is adequate if a little on the thinner side.
Finish - Short to medium length. Sour with a touch of (sandal)wood bitterness and peaty tang.
As you may guess I'm not enjoying this quite as much as the last bottle. It seems as if they've really ramped up the peatyness at the expense of some of the complexity (I heard similar complaints about the new batches compared to the older bottles pre-discontinuation funnily enough . . .). Time has helped this and I imagine will keep doing so. I have a bottle from about two years ago in the stash and am tempted to do a head to head but won't (sorry!). I do wonder if the first few batches released were of a slightly better quality than the more recent ones? Wouldn't surprise me.
Still, it's a decent dram and perhaps one of those whiskys better suited to idle sipping or a session rather than deep contemplation. I imagine it was always designed for the former anyway . . .