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This is another one of the high powered peat bombs we opened on May 21 after @TAlexander’s party last month. It was about 4/5 full, and not opened since that day, well-gassed.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle into a Glencairn (only one glass tonight) after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
Nose: (the nose was definitely stronger in the snifter when I opened it)
Neat – Soft (surprising as it was covered 10 min.). There’s some peat, a hint of rubber tire, and maybe a little iodine. Maybe a hint of lemon. A little muted. 21/25
With water – More lemony, less rubbery. Dry peat. Still muted. The Ashok manoeuvre, which I find works best with Amruts, delivers a much more vibrant, lemony nose. (23/25)
Neat – Extremely rich arrival, with sweetness and mouth-drying peat. It is oily, thick, and coats the mouth. Lemon pepper in the development. Really delicious. 22.5/25
With water – Warmed by hand, the richness exploded on the first sip. There’s some lemon pith, maybe a little white grapefruit. (23.5/25)
Lots of peat. Astringent. A little ash but not a lot. 22/25. With water I get lemon pepper and grapefruit pith. Lasts a long time. (22.5/25)
Neat, the nose and palate are two different Scotches. The peat is quite apparent on the palate but there is other stuff going on. 22/25 With water and a little warmth the flavours in the nose and palate are more aligned, more intense, more complex. (23/25)
Score: Neat - 87.5/100 With Water: 92/100
Adjusted Score based on enjoyment: 93/100
This is a very good Scotch, and one of my favourite batches of this expression. When I compare it to my notes from my review of the 2011 I can’t decide which one I like more.
I think I made the mistake of reviewing this in my cold basement. Neat, I didn’t have the benefit of warming the glass with my hand (wish I’d thought of that) and it may have contributed to the discrepancy between the 2 scores.
I think I like the 2012 best of the three official expressions I’ve tried (@TAlexander’s Elements of Islay Lg2 may have been my favourite). I would dearly love to get my hands on a second bottle, but I can’t see myself paying $160 for a bottle these days. I picked this one up for $3.50 by trading in a gifted Glenfiddich 18.
This one will likely not find its way to a tasting that includes people who have no self control (I have a friend who would love this and who could herself easily drain half of what is left in a sitting). It will come out on quiet, special occasions when it can be shared with someone who will appreciate what it’s worth…