On August 15, 2020, a small group of us had a Zoom Tasting of 4 mystery samples. We had received them from @Fiddich1980 and tried them earlier, and then we went through them together. 2 of the 4 samples were whiskies and this is the first of two reviews from that set.
This expression is reviewed in my usual manner, allowing it to settle after which I take my nosing and tasting notes, followed by the addition of a few drops of water, waiting, then nosing and tasting.
First tasting Aug. 13 2020
Sweet, Floral nose Syrup, ?rosemary? ?sage? Grapes? Taste sweet, spirity, effervescent. Bitter on the finish, short. Guess about 43% - could be a brandy.
Formal Tasting October 12, 2020
Sweet fruit, cinnamon and sweet apple are the primary notes. Fruit syrup. I don’t get the savoury notes from my original pour of this sample. Very pleasant, not overly complex, but clean and fresh. Slightly richer, more syrupy nose with a few drops of water. (22.5/25)
Fruity, slightly effervescent on arrival. A little sour in a pleasant way. crisp green apples, white table grapes. Some oak in the development, kind of like an oaked white wine. Water adds some pepper to the palate. Makes it a bit more substantial. (22.5/25)
Medium length. Oaky tannins. A little pepper, slightly astringent.
The nose and palate compliment each other. Not too sweet, not too sour. Not overly complex but light and refreshing.
Score: Neat - 88/100 With Water: 89/100
This would make a great alternative to a chilled white wine in the backyard on a summer evening, if I drank white wine.
I wonder if air in the sample bottle had some effect on the differences between the August tasting and today’s, and for the better.
Thanks again, @fiddich1980, for providing the sample!
@Nozinan OP17 is a single malt which really demands that one's palate and sense of smell, be on point. I struggled with the bottle over the past year and a half. For myself, at times, it represented single malt perfection, aromatic, complex flavours, spot on balance, and nice length of finish = enjoyment. Then at other times, muted, insipid, and pedestrian = no joy. My fear was that "It was so good as to be boring". I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed the bottom half of the sample. I can relate with your comparison to white wine maybe a, dry Gewurztraminer.
@Nozinan I think you are right in line with the consensus on this one. Credible reviewers consistently score it in the high 80s/low 90s.
@fiddich1980 Your impressions suggest that it depends on what your taste buds want on any given day. I know that feeling and have to refrain from judging a whisky on a day when the buds want something else. I would recommend that you avoid the insipid 18 year old that replaced it, but if you can get hold of a sample, by all means form your own impressions, they may be totally different from mine.