Alas, this review is a wee bit rushed as I have to be somewhere, but thought I would squeeze it in on this lovely afternoon. It is Corby's third annual release of their Lot 40 Cask Strength, encompassing 5460 bottles. Unlike the previous two editions, this one does not have an age statement.
The colour is a medium caramel. On the nose we have various peppers (white, chilli, poblano), balsamic, butterscotch, brioche and wood smoke. Milk chocolate. Lots of vanilla too. Slightly off with a sour note though. With water we get grapefruit and brine.
Even more sour on the palate, but with the right amount of heat (though a bit too much oak). Creamy mouthfeel. Black liquorice, ground black pepper and candy floss. Much hotter with water. Some complexity here but it is not harmonious and seems way too young.
The finish is a bit chalky, with more oak, grapefruit pith and pencil shavings. Easily the least successful of the three Lot 40 CS releases, and the only one so far without an age statement. I have some of last year's release (11yo, slightly higher strength at 58.4%) and it is SO much better - well rounded, more power and that great Canadian rye note missing from this year's edition: pickle juice. I'm even trying a bit of standard Lot 40 with these, and even though it is much thinner and simpler, it is much more of a pleasure to drink than the CS 3rd Ed. Davin de Kergommeaux gave this a big 93, but I cannot see how. Quite a disappointment.