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Nose: A direct flight straight to the cherished Lowlands. Floral notes of lavender, with honey and mild smoke, all lingering over a luscious lemon cheesecake. Lowland bliss. Plenty of cereal notes to enjoy as well, with banana bread and malted shortbread, all with a refreshing twist of sweet mint sprinkled on top. At this rate no plans to catch the return flight..
Taste: Here the fruit really comes out from behind the heather to reveal itself. Opal Fruits and Turkish Delight come galloping through the lavender, while the strawberries and raisins try to keep up in pursuit. With the fruits now bolted, they leave behind a more languid 'Tiramisu' of a gathering, with mild mocha, milk chocolate and toffee singing a 'Ring A Ring O' Roses' (excuse the flagrant pun) joyously all together. Finally there's some mild spice to accompany the warm cereal breeze of flapjacks.
Finish: Slightly short, however enough time to see the fruits come running back across the malted lavender, with the pears and blackcurrants tumbling a fig-roll bowling ball through the white chocolate, marshmallow and coffee bean ten-pins, sending a haze of sweet mint flying up into the summer air.
Balance: Not quite as punchy and rich as the previous 25 year old release, however perhaps therefore more faithful to the classic Lowland style, allowing the floral and fruity character to bask more directly in the sun. In some ways this is a bit of a vamped up and more luscious version of the lighter 12 year old Flora and Fauna release, and lives very much in that same languid summer haze. As such, it has to be given time, especially on the nose, but when given that time it is a most seductive and rewarding experience.