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The Cask Strength Collection contains a series of single malts that vary in age from 21 to 26 years. They are (obviously) bottled at cask strength, ranging from 50 to 65% ABV. This cask from 1991 has an ABV of 63,5%.
The nose is sweet on the one hand, but has a rather special earthy and rocky smell on the other. This is the first whisky from New-Zealand that offers this kind of nose. And it works. There is also a weird spearmint chewing gum element to it. The fruit is citrus and peach. I also get some pastry and a mild floral element like violets. If you leave it long enough, you get baby breath (which is a bit of a euphemism for puke). Apart, that is the least you can say of this one. You might add water, but it does not improve the nose. It gives it a green edge, if you get my meaning.
It is spicy and warm upon arrival (what did you expect with such and ABV?), but still it is quaffable without water. Pleasantly bittersweet on grapefruit, mocha, spearmint and some pineapple. Not as complex as the nose, but very good. Adding water makes no changes.
The finish is rather long and spicy. At the death, it seems I have some grapefruit peel on the tongue. Zesty!
Nice single cask from New-Zealand, but rather hard to find in my neck of the woods.