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This is one of those drams I’ve been itching to try for a while now. It’s roughly $55 Canadian at my local whisky store here in Taipei. I’ve heard good things about it from both friends and online reviews. I was having a tough time choosing between this and the Amrut Single Malt Cask Strength. Obviously, I opted for the OP17. Amrut will have to wait.
Nose: Largely a bourbon nose with lovely vanilla, cereal, and honey notes. Next up we get a peppery burn, followed some nice butter and floral notes. Heaps of fruit, with apples, pears, melons, and oranges. There’s a definite ‘cola’ quality here as well. Quite nice.
Palate: Butter on arrival. Saltier and spicier than expected. Much more of a kick than the nose would suggest. Quite a lovely balance of white pepper here. Not too much, not too little. Also, a fair amount of ginger. Lots of tangy citrusy notes, and a faint floral note that’s reminiscent of lilac.
Finish: Some oak comes through here. Something that kind of reminds me of ‘Old Spice,’ the cologne your dad used to wear (depending on your age, I guess). More ginger and pepper. Salty again, with some mild perfume/floral notes and heaps of butter. Medium-long finish.
I’m reminded somewhat of traditional Scottish cuisine. More specifically, the crust on a Scottish meat pie. My mother immigrated to Canada from Scotland with her parents, and my grandmother used to prepare either fish ‘n chips or meat pies for us every time we’d visit her. The meat pies would have a buttery pastry crust with a healthy dose of both salt and pepper. I’m a big fan of how the smooth buttery notes work with the salt and pepper here. I don’t know how to work the lilac, ginger or zesty orange notes into this picture, but they’re there too, and they work well. So… yeah, it’s as if someone took the meat out of a Scottish meat pie, squeezed an orange over it, and sat some ginger and a lilac flower on top of it. Damn, that’s the most forced analogy I’ve ever made. Common hunggar, you’re better than this…
ANYWAY, this is a good whisky. But I have to admit my expectations may have been a bit high. Online reviews tend to favour this dram, but more importantly, a friend told me this was his personal favorite. Well, it certainly is worth the affordable price tag here in Taiwan. Not a favorite, but it’s certainly not something I regret buying. The palate doesn’t deliver as much fruit as the nose promised, which was somewhat disappointing. But, the notes that do shine through offer a rich and balanced whisky that is thoroughly enjoyable.