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From the second i purchased this it had all the signs of quality. The glass bottle is long and slimline rather than the short and fat bottles we see nowadays and the bottle is housed in a cardboard box which has the bottle on display on two sides (so you can actually see the Whisky on the shelf even though it's boxed).
Proud the distillers are of the colour which by most Whisky standards is pale, yet because it's the natural colour as no caramel colouring has been added you appreciate this. Just to ensure you have the right info, this Single Malt Whisky is bottled at 46% and is NOT chill filtered! The Whisky is matured in bourbon barrels and then placed in Madeira Casks for a finishing period.
NOSE: Once i Initially popped the cork and poured my first "dram" i allowed it to settle for a good minute before sticking my nose in the glass to see what was waiting to say hello. There is quite a powerful scent at first which is quite sharp on the nose, almost like a dry white wine or mustard smell even - along with a malty note! The Aroma is clean on the whole with distinct smells of Vanilla, Custard and a faint smell of freshly mowed grass. I failed to detect any fruits until i added water... oh yes water really did open the nose up and allowed me to smell raisins although they were faint and required time for the water to work it's magic. For the most part Vanilla and Custard were the main aromas coming from this Whisky although the longer you allow the water to work the more of a honey smell comes through, also a hint of pine comes back every now and then!
PALATE: Again the aroma of Vanilla makes its way into your mouth. It's the first and consistent taste you find with this Whisky. This is a very sweet Whisky and Benefits from adding water to tone the sweetness and alcoholic kick down which in turn allows the other fruits such as raisins to shine through (albeit in a faint way) - although it must be said at no point does this Whisky burn your mouth.... it's very smooth.
FINISH: I was expecting another vanilla explosion once i swallowed a mouthful of Whisky yet to my surprise on the finish this is quite short and sweet, virtually no burn on the back of your tongue or throat yet you do get a nice warm glow down to your stomach, the vanilla flavor does linger in your mouth for a few minutes, i couldn't taste anything other than vanilla at this point.
Verdict: Very surprised and happy i got a bottle, The nose is full of different things yet the palate is more reserved with the vanilla taste really coming through which i liked. This is exceptionally well balanced although dry in the mouth with a shorter than expected finish. Maybe more of an after dinner Whisky?
One thing is for sure this is very smooth and i highly recommend you add a little water which really brings the Whisky into its own! There is no age on the bottle yet i gather it's around 6 years - if that's the case then this is going to be blow away stuff when it's 12 years old and beyond as for a 6 year old Whisky there's lots going on. One word hits you while you drink this "quality" ... the one note of caution is i don't think this is an anytime Whisky rather it seems more of an after dinner one.
Fully Recommended for you to try and treat your guests even people that don't normally drink Whisky may find this appealing!