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The nose is very malty and a bit zesty to begin with. After a while, notes of vanilla and butter cookies appear, followed by a touch of caramel and a good dose of smoke.
The palate is medium-bodied and spicy. The smoke is back, together with vanilla flavours and a touch of nuts. There is also a salty and quite earthy note to this palate, intricate but lovely.
The finish is of medium length, dry, and pleasantly warming. As with the nose there is a distinct maltiness, this time accompanied by plenty of wood spice.
I enjoyed this 8-year old at cask strength, in particular the salty and earthy flavours of the palate that go well together with the smoke. The nose was a bit too malty and zesty for me, difficult to tame even with adding water, and I rather prefer the 10-year old that I find better balanced overall.