This is an interesting one for me. The timeline can be confusing but here goes:
In December 2017 @Robert99 was kind enough to leave me a sample of this after an epic tasting we had at my home. I opened that sample shortly after (once my liver recovered) because it was available at the LCBO at a reasonable price and I wanted to know if I wanted a bottle of it for myself. At the time I decided I did not, and I gassed and left the rest of the sample to review later.
Last summer @fiddich1980 provided 3 mystery samples for me and for @paddockjudge. This was sample A. We blind tasted them together over Facetime in the fall, and after writing preliminary notes the identities were revealed.
Tonight I completed my review notes with the two samples of the same expression, from different bottles, side by side (same volume in each glass). Apparently the sample from @fiddich1980 was from a freshly opened bottle. I have no information on the sample from @Robert99.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Fruity. Grapes, apples, hints of pear, peach, grapefruit and orange peel. There is a syrupy note that is more prominent with water. I recorded a faint smoky note in the fall, not so much now. Interestingly, I find the nose of @fiddich1980’s sample slightly sweeter than @Robert99’s.
Taste: 19/25 - 21/25
My notes from the fall describe a sweet, fruity entry with a bitter development. Today I find it more spirity as well. In the fall it became more bitter with water, less so now. I note a slightly vegetal peaty flavour in @Robert99’s sample that I had not noticed in the other one.
Finish: 18/25 - 20/25
In the fall it was quite bitter, unpleasantly so. Now both samples provide a long, peppery but not unpleasant finish.
Nose promises more than the palate delivers. Slightly more balanced in tonight’s tasting.
Original tasting: 79/100 Jan. 12 review tasting: 84/100
Note that the original mark is for the single sample, and the second mark includes tasting of both samples
This was an interesting experiment for me because I don’t think I’ve done a head to head review of two different bottles of the same expression before (unless they were clearly different batches), and while they are very similar, I do detect some slight differences.
I wonder it if the amount of time open my have played a role, in addition, of course to the possibility of batch variation. Also, I can’t recall if I gassed the samples from @fiddich1980) in the fall because had planned on finishing the reviews soon after but life got in the way. The air time may have changed it slightly.