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The Nose: Some nice stewed stone fruit – peaches and plums, with ripe juicy citrus along with mingled notes of buttered bread, hot cocoa and even a bit of chocolate brownie. The sherry is pretty subtle here, mixed in well with the fruit, it comes across with bit of spicyness that reminds me of mulled wine…or I guess I should say glögg. Off in the distance, do I catch a tiny medicinal puff of peat?
The Palate: The fruit of the nose is a lot more restrained to start here, and while it’s there along with more chocolate brownie notes, a high-proof grainy spiciness begins to grow pretty quickly. There are nice notes of toasted, buttered bread, and salted nuts that slide away to spicy and very drying clove, coriander, and that tiny earthy, peat-like hitch.
The Finish: Very drying, a little spicy still with a last swell of cocoa and just the faintest peaty tang towards the end.
Thoughts: A different, fairly successful whisky. I loved the buttery, fruity and cocoa nose and would have liked more of that same “tone” with the palate, instead the palate has the young, quick-matured dryness that, while interesting, overwhelms some of the subtler notes that are there. The sherry is very subtle, my guess is the barrels were seasoned with a lighter Fino or Manzanilla, and adds a nice layer of complexity to both nose and palate. For an apparently young whisky, this didn’t really have the brash harshness of youth. I really did like where this one was heading, but I can’t help but wonder if a slower, even longer maturation would make for an even more balanced, evocative malt.