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Light gold in colour, thick oil rich spirit that coats the glass.
First aroma is cognac driven fruit ripe pear and lemon do come through but the peat and smoke are not prominent. As it sits and airs the smoke starts too make an appearance and tentative delicate peat from the depths of the glass, no medicinal harshness but a subtlety that exudes class. The most noticeable thing is the lack of alcohol burn by the end of ten minutes nosing I have my nose deep in the glass but no alcohol showing hints of white pepper and a rich vanilla note are present now.
Initial taste sweet rich oily and mouth coating, fruit pears and lemon again then the French oak takes charge spicy on the verge of mild chilli rather than pepper touch of ginger and then a merest hint of medicinal peat. The smokiness envelops the taste buds and the medicinal edge fades quickly with oak astringency taking over and puckering the edges of my tongue. Yet again the alcohol content does not make an appearance it is hot but spicy not alcohol burn.
Finish is long and warming sweet vanilla, spicy and smoky in the mouth with a long warming sensation as you swallow still no burn. The dry oakiness just encourage another sip.
I do like my heavily peated whisky Laphroaig and Ardbeg and I also like the spice of Talisker, this is not quite any of them but is a different beast altogether.
The 8 years in cognac casks have given it a robust cognac flavour while taking the edge off the peat, it is still present and shows itself throughout the experience but it is nuanced and subtle not the slap across the face of a Laphroaig and IMHO is much better for it. As an after dinner dram instead of a brandy/cognac this will do an excellent job as a regular sipper it is a little rich for my pocket but if I am travelling and have the cash this beauty will be a must buy.