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It's difficult to tell, but judging from the very faint date stamp on the label, this looks to be from a 2012 batch. Initial research led me to believe that there hadn't been a 2012 bottling, but a bit more digging revealed there is.
This one takes a long time to open up and get to know. Both in the bottle and in the glass. First two drams were really disappointing but it's really starting to come alive now that I've drained the bottle past the neck. I should also note that this particular dram I'm tasting has been sitting covered in a glencairn glass overnight... and has benefited from it. This is the kind of whisky that evolves in the glass to a point where, in the span of an hour or more, you might think you're sipping a different whisky that what you started with. Enough jibber jabber. On to the review...
Nose: Very little peat, which is surprising. Rather there's stewed fruits here, heavy on peaches. Some oiled leather, and antique furniture shop notes. Bit of sweet balsamic as well.
Taste: My aunt makes an apple-rhubarb-caramel cobbler that my brain gets mushy for--so good. I get this in the arrival--so good. Stewed fruits carry over from the nose to the taste in a burst of flavour, along with some ginger heat. There's some some farmy notes here too: hay, stables, root cellars full of garden vegetables, musty sheds. All good stuff! Some mellow wood spice near the end that carries on through the finish.
Finish: This is where the real magic happens... and where the peat smoke sings. It's an mellow, oily, resinous smoke. There's some sweet pipe tobacco here as well. Leather sticks around with the wood spice. Some honey-sweetened dark tea. And some really nice roasted nutty flavours too: toasted coconut and walnuts. The finish is mellow; beautiful; ever-evolving; bordering on perpetual.
This one requires some patience, that's for sure. And the payoff is really in the finish. Like a quiet, reserved old man, who's got amazing stories to tell... it's worth prodding the old bugger to get him talking. When he does, he says things that surprise and astound and you're left thinking about them for days. That's what this whisky is for me. Wonderful stuff.