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A very popular one this, so it would seem, and I had waited a good while after my pleasing experiences with the regular 12 to grab one of these and, yes, I'm glad I did!
Bottle's been open a couple of months and just passed the label. Review is neat.
Nose - immediately rich, creamy and buttery. Some sweet notes of red apples, rasiny, berry sherry influence and baking spices. There's quite a whiff of new pencils as well that integrates very well here. That unmistakable dry barley note and coppery twang are also present. Straightforward yet complex, if you get me?
Taste - Creamy again and really big on the palate with some more spice, butter, oak, a little liquorice, red fruits and Caramac bars. Dusty, almost grainy, yet rich and thick mouth-feel and perfectly balanced with it.
Finish - Long. Lots of spice, more toffee and oak with a little bitterness from the tannins at the death, but nothing is out of place. Some of the sherry influence hangs on in there as well and adds to the feeling of balance.
Water softens the edges a little but doesn't really change much other than diluting what's there. I prefer to drink this neat and savour the full sensations.
This is stunning Irish whiskey that deserves its solid reputation. One of those rare beasts that manages to be both quaffable yet powerful, rich, complex and rewarding at the same time. A total flavour bomb! That being said, I could get two bottles of the regular 12, with change, for one of these and I think that may be a better deal; which, in fairness, says more about the quality of the standard than this version per se.