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I opened this bottle a few days ago and rarely pay too much attention to detail to begin with but this has been quite intrusive and demanded my full, and appreciative, attention.
This has a very peaty nose on first contact, as you'd expect/hope; but it's a familiar yet new kind of peat to me in the way, say, something like Ledaig has its own character. It's recognisably Islay and there's hints and nods to all of those I've tried, whilst offering something new and unique.
Rather than a primarily TCP or smoke hit, I'm getting more of a Tiger Balm or Winter Green note. Well not so much note as crescendo. There's some fruit there; sour pineapple and soft banana. There's also a slight bitter, minty herbal note and a touch of salt. It's clean, fresh and inviting.
Taste is very much sweet up front; the same fruit notes which seem to squish out their juice and soak your mouth - it's a decent length development where that fruit note just keeps going. Then it becomes drier and sour and leaves a distinctive white pepper and mustard note.
The peat is intense and blankets the whole experience from the start and it finishes with a very dry mineral peatyness that fades to light tannins. Quite a long one. I really like the mouth feel on this as well, it's full and juicy without being cloying or too oily.
With time or a few drops of water (I'm having this one neat but it's sat about 30 minutes) some very soft vanilla comes out.
As soon as I tried this I knew I liked it but it was certainly a little brash and youthful. Just three days later and it's already mellowed quite a bit; that edge has just softened enough. I get the sense this will keep on developing with time and air. Glad I bought this and have invested in the 10 2nd Ed on the strength of it. I think it's the crispness of it, despite such heavy phenolics, that really stands out for me, that and it is clearly well made stuff. Very good.