This was a sample graciously provides by @Nozinan. The sample was poured May 29 2019, and the bottle was opened April 29. All tasting notes and scoring were done blind.
- Nose (undiluted): peat, smoke, graham crackers, red fruits, possibly sherried
- Palate (undiluted): rich, fruity, jammy with peat and smoke joining the party a bit later. More graham crackers. Hazelnuts. Dark chocolate. Possibly a slightly higher abv (50% ?)
- Finish: a bit of ashy peat, more red fruit (strawberries?), a hint of espresso, some malty notes at the tail end with a touch of black liquorice
With water there’s way more fruit on the nose, alongside some slight maritime notes. Although I could be imagining those maritime notes since I associate peat smoke with the pungent iodine that often accompanies Islay malts. The fruitiness has me thinking Amrut, since I once thought a single cask, ex-bourbon cask matured Amrut was a sherried whisky. Their spirit definitely has a fruity edge to it. With water added, there’s less fruit and more nuttiness on the palate, especially hazelnuts. The espresso bitterness is more prominent on the finish with water added, and it’s not at all unpleasant.
The initial nosing had me thinking Laphroaig, but the colour had me leaning Ardbeg. After some more nosing and tasting, I’d have to guess this is a peated Amrut or a Laphroaig Cairdeas with some type of sherry finish. Yummy.
Lagavulin 8. (Or Glenfiddich; @Nozinan was a little coy about the reveal). I was flabbergasted. My tasting notes were completely different from the last sample I tried and reviewed. Of course, this was a different batch and my setting was obviously different from my last tasting.