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Nose: Macadamia, cashews, Grape Nuts, clover blossom, cilantro, old comic book collection from the 1970's (smell of the paper).
Palate: Wet oak leaves, nutty goodness, caramel, lingering oak, celery, gruyere cheese, cracked pepper corn, old leather-bound books.
Finish: The oak yields to slight hints of sage and lemon. Nice length for a 12 year (medium long).
OP12 is also quite good with food, I might add, particularly late night snacks. Over the past week, it has gone especially well with my recent "after midnight indulgence" of imported cheeses, onions, crackers, heirloom tomatoes, capers, and white truffle oil on water crackers.
Yes, this bottle could certainly function as an "every day dram." No, it's not the best whisky you will ever taste (whereas the 21 year is damned near despite being a little too sweet in 2013 as compared to a few years earlier), but the "buzz" of the 12 year is very kind indeed.
Speaking of "the buzz," you know, that factor is seldom mentioned in reviews. Different whiskies do generate different alcoholic effects. The OP delivers a nice mellow controlled buzz that sustains well over time.
I don't care what anyone tells me: different single malt scotches do make one feel different, at least to some extent. The OP delivers a very nice buzz without making one feel overwrought or overtaxed by the alcohol. It is quite good to balance and sustain, surfing a wave of contentment and relaxation. By that, I mean to say that it is steady and not "up and down" like some others.
I also find that OP12 goes very well with a pint or two of beer at the pub. Last night, I enjoyed a glass of OP12 and a pint of Old Speckled Hen, along with a half order of fish and chips. This combination of food and drink was extremely satisfying outdoors, looking out over the river with the sun shining and actually contributing some warmth to the evening. It was quite nice to feel some warm sunshine and drink my cold beer after a long winter of that kept me indoors and only now is just letting up in Portland, even though technically we are already well into spring.
The consistency of the OP 12 has also been there from bottle to bottle down through the years, while the current value is virtually unbeatable for the price I paid in Oregon.
Thank you, OP. You are gentlemen, gentlewomen, and scholars. Keep up the quality! Keep up the consistency! Don't let us down like some other distillers (which I won't mention) that ended up resting on their laurels and then scooting along on their behinds for a time with scotch offerings that began to lag in terms of quality. If price is King, then consistency is Queen! Don't raise your prices just because Jim Murray extoled the virtue of your 21 year offering a little while back. I like paying $40 (or forty "clams," as they say on the Oregon coast) for a bottle of your 12 year, and hope to do so for a few more years. . . .