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This bottle has been bottled in 2012 and is numberedL2206CM000 03432475. It is 90% full. For this review, I will compare my tasting notes on a fresh palate in the morning to my notes at night after a dram of Lot 40. But first, do I need to remember you that the Distillers Edition is finished in a Montilla Fino cask? That's what I tought, you knew that. So let's start!
On a fresh palate and nose, it offers me honeydew, abricot, blond oak and honey. The oak is in the same style as with Cragganmore. At night, I get apples (McIntosch and Granny Smith), oak and spices, salt and white pepper and faint abricot.
In the morning, the palate presents dry alcohol, oak and dry wood, a lot of malt, cereals, a bit of soya sauce, cardamon and sauge. At night, the Fino is more present so is the salt and white pepper. But what is really important is that the cardamon is still there to enhance the spicy profile. It is quite similar to my impression of it in the morning. There is also some trace of nail polish and banana.
For the finish, in both case the malt is coming back strongly with the herbs, but fade out to let the herbs soaked in very lightly smoked salt.
Conclusion, not surprisingly the nose is more complex on a fresh palate, but the flavors are strong enough to be well perceived even by a tired palate. It has the full presence of a whisky with a much higher ABV without having the burn. It also has a beautifull complexity. For me it makes me think of a vatting of Cragganmore 1996 DE with Amrut Fusion. I often find the herbs to be funky in Scotch, but here the cardamon is superb and doesn't overwhelm the flavors. In this aspect, the malt helps to achieve a nice balance. Nevertheless, I think this Scotch would be better at 18 years old.