Sample courtesy of @wierdo - thanks again!
I found myself in the fairly unusual place of having two separate batches of the same whiskey open when I got this. I did a head to head with the B1-17 version prior to the review and did find some differences -both were lovely though, it must be said. So it's about time I gave this one the sole attention it probably deserves.
A wee splash of water was added.
Nose - A little sharpness from the alcohol at first but this leads into creamy vanilla, butterscotch (Werther's), a mix of baking spices (some cardamom, big clove and a hint of nutmeg) and that gristy, slightly sour and metallic pot still note.
Taste - Bright and fresh with a 'sherberty' quality to the form. More butterscotch, tart green apples and lots more spice in the development with plenty of additional pepper.
Finish - Med - long. Some bold tannins and more of the pepper. Some sticky grain notes linger on the tongue.
Perhaps it's my palate this evening but there's a definite sense of the abv here that isn't quite as prominent in the earlier batch. Similarly, I'm getting little to no sense of any sherry maturation and I think it doesn't help. This is more 'golden' and brighter but less thick and unctuous, although there is definitely an oily, grainy aspect to it. Still very, very good whiskey but this one seems 'lesser' somehow. I'm also missing the new pencil notes that worked so well in the other batch.
@RianC Sounds like a major upgrade on the regular 12 which I thought was pretty mediocre and too sweet. Nice review, thanks.
Interesting comparison with the earlier batch.
I sat on this bottle for a couple of years before opening it and have to confess after hearing a lot of hype about it I didn't like it as much as I anticipated I would. I enjoyed it but didn't love it.
In particular I didn't pick up as much sherry cask influence as I expected. So you saying the earlier batch was more sherried makes sense.