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Looking back at my first review of 2017, I had promised a review of this one along with a few others once I finished my “Dry January”. Trying to procrastinate on doing some paperwork, so here’s a quick uncomplicated review for a fairly good and uncomplicated Scotch Whisky.
This bottle was just under a half full. It was opened November 17, has been present at a couple of tastings, and opened several times, always gassed with Private Preserve. 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.
Neat – On first pour, lemony peat. After setting, dust, sweet syrup. I get a hint of Dairy Queen soft serve. Also a hint of grapefruit pith. Hint of sage. 22/25
With water – Same profile. The syrup is a little thicker and sweeter. I get a hint of varnish. The smell when you rub those old pink erasers, maybe a little tire skid or plastic electrical wire heating up (can I say “in a good way”?). Getting some brine and smoked salmon (only ever smelled lox in Bowmore before today). Sage is gone, but the soft serve peeks through. More complex. (23/25)
Neat – Sweet arrival, dry, vegetal peat. Almost like thin, light syrup. Tastes good, strong flavour but not too complex. 21/25
With water – Richer, slightly less sweet, more savory, pepper. Interesting, I had a few sips of soda water and when I came back to it the flavours were all washed out. A few sips bring me back to where I want to be with this one. (21.5/25)
Finish:Some ash. Astringent. Remains sweet. Actually a fairly long finish with lots of peat breath. 22/25. No change with water
Balance: Nose and palate go together. Perhaps a tad sweet. 21/25. A little less sweet with water. (22/25)
Score: Neat - 86 /100 With Water: 88.5 /100
Score Based on Enjoyment: 88/100
I like this whisky. I’d probably give the nod to a good 12YO CS batch over this, but I enjoy it much more than the 16. The added ABV is what supports this. I’d probably be very stingy with the water with this one.
It would be nice if they made this into a standard release.