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This whisky was well regarded among whisky connoisseurs, until it disappeared roughly a decade ago. However, it was re-released in 2012 and was received very well - once again. It is a 100% malted rye whisky, distilled in a single copper pot still, aged in new charred wood which is pretty apparent when you smell the bold caramel and candied rye.
Currently there is a bottling out without a year statement on it - I haven't had it, but I'd be interested to see how that batch compares.
Nose: This is wonderful rye, and an incredible nose! The big, and distinctive thing for me here is banana peel...and lots of it. There's also toffee, rye bread, oak, green apple, apple juice, lilacs, and it's a bit sour. Also, there's a touch of orange pekoe tea and some other floral elements including fragrant nectar-smelling blossoms. In comparitive reviews, this nose always jumps out to me as beautiful and complex, and it's interesting also to see what I've noticed in comparitive reviews - star anise, some beef-jerky like smoky aromas, and some medicinal and chemical aromas - reminiscent of some of the medicinal qualities of Islay peat, obviously without the smokiness and earthiness (if you can imagine it). 90%
Taste: Lots of toffee, tangy rye, and oak. It's very bold, spicy, and fruity with bits of green apple and banana coming through. The flavours appear to be layered, one under another which is very lovely. I get some dried apricot and prunes, and a significant layer of oak under it all. The star anise from the nose carries through as well, as well as some wonderful clove and nutmeg. The spicy tingle at the end is just right...wonderful. 88%
Finish: warm finish with rising heat as it leaves the mouth, with spicy and fruity rye eventually leaving you with the oak and a touch of earthiness. 90%
Intrigue: Quite a powerful whisky, with very distinct flavour. Nice flavour and finish...might be too bold for some tastes. Very enjoyable, and well blended. The more that I drink this the more I like it, and my score has crept up as I have had more bottles of it. A fantastic rye - if more widely available I think it would be very difficult to obtain. 90%
Weighting the nose 25%, taste 35%, Finish 15%, and Intrigue 25% the overall grade is 91.
PS...how can a grade by 91 when all the components are less than such a score? a product of how I round my scores - I kept it the same for consistency and I don't mind such a score for a product like this one.