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This whisky is made from the same stuff as the 2012 batch, except that it was actually aged in wood a few extra years (and the bottle no longer contains "2012" on it).
Nose: Dried fruits, cinnamon, and, oak, oaky caramel, and mint. The grain is rich with a bit of a flambeed banana character. Yeasty, too. A bit sour too, a bit like sour rye bread. Rich, oaky, spicy....there are a few out of place bitter notes which detract lightly as well. However, relative to the 2012 batch - more caramel and charred notes, and more rum. If I had to pick, I might say I ever so slightly prefer the nose on the 2012 batch, but they're close and consistent. 26.5/30 (88%)
Taste: Tannic, and really it has pushed the oak right to the edge. Quite intense with some dark fruits and banana, mint, and lots of rye notes - for sure. Still has that classic mouthwatering, rich taste though which makes it hard not to adore this one. Light arugula is there as well. Delicious, pure and simple. Has the intensity and boldness to be chewed, really. Sometimes, similar to some bourbons and straight whiskeys, it is a bit too sweet - but, in this case, it's still nicely offset by the spice. This is really quite addictive stuff on the palate, and I think I like it a touch more than the 2012 batch - though, once again, they're consistent and very close. 27/30 (90%)
Finish: A bit tannic, and bitter. Spices are there, for sure, in good quantity. Sourdough and banana, too. cinnamon. Lots of flavour amidst the tannin. And, also, oak. Green apples. 18/20 (90%) Conclusion: Quite a nice rye, but perhaps not as good as the last...I think there's too much oak here - the tannins are a bit high, but not over the top. I still think one of your best buys (especially if you are a fan of rye, straight or not- a very solid whisky. It's certainly one I always like to stock, and my tastes and preferences have been shifting more in its direction as the years plod on, I think. 18/20 (90%)
Weighting the nose 25%, the taste 35%, the finish 15%, and intrigue 25%, the overall score is 91. I have said that I like the 2012 batch more, which I rated 89...I still agree with my component percentages but I suppose this means that my rating scheme I have been using on connosr to test it out has yet to be tweaked. Weightings of 30/30/20/20 rather than 25/35/15/25 which I use on my blog are perhaps more representative of my actual score.
On the note of ratings, I have also been noticing that in whisky I gravitate towards what is best, which often means that, in my mind, I naturally change my "weightings" to more heavily favor the best parts of the whisky - and perhaps I should tweak my scheme to reflect that. For instance, if I rate a whisky 90/85 on the nose/taste, I will enjoy it more than a whisky which is 87.5/87.5. In this batch, I found the nose not quite as expressive but the palate better than the 2012 batch, but in the 2012 the nose made the whisky in a similar way that the palate makes the whisky here, and not necessarily in equal parts each time...interesting.