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I seem to be on a bit of a whisky-family trend so will stay with the theme. This is the third of my Islay malts and the one I most looked forward to tasting.
It reminds me of an older uncle in a dinner suit. Worldly, experienced, sophisticated but a little slow now and not into late nights.
I made notes when I first opened the bottle and again after 3 weeks. The nose seemed the same and I smothered the glass to get wonderful wafts of orange rind smoked with liquorice. I thought of Cointreau and over ripe lemons.
Without water I tasted orange peel and candied fruit. Christmas cake mix when the bag is first opened. Big cloves.
With a splash the fruit warmed and reminded me of Jaffa's being slowly eaten by the girl next to you in a movie theatre. I tasted ripe plums, strawberries poached in Muscat and something I'll describe as curry and spice at the end.
The finish was not as long as I expected and the hints of salty smoke with nutmeg and lemon rind seemed to fade. The Laphroaig QC and Ardbeg 10 remained longer in comparison.
It's a smooth, warm and unflappable malt. I would say it is reliable but it is more than that. To bring back the family theme it is an Uncle who will always give you some quality time but will not let you borrow his 2 year old, 3 series BMW.