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Can't believe I am the first one to post a review of this very nice Speysider. I understand this might be a little hard to find, but at merely 70 pounds in the U.K it still represents good enough of a deal to justify the hassle of tracking one down...
Nose: Extremely appealing sweet vanilla and creamy fudge from the start, proclaiming a very fair use of bourbon casks, which explains the rather pale colour. Also some very present heather honey note with a floral touch in the background that evolves into brown sugar and a slightly burnt note. Some lemon zest also. Sweet, but never cloying. Wonderfully balanced and complex. Surely the best I've yet to come across, I'd nose that thing for hours!
Palate: Initially port and vanilla, which gets sweeter within a few seconds. Perfumed and floral, with that cream fudge and brown sugar tussle going on. Evolves into citrusy notes, which hold quite a fair amount of tang... Almost too much in fact since it makes your mouth water so much that you almost lose the whisky. Very lively and fresh towards the end, almost effervescent? Good mouth-coating texture brought by the lack of chill filtration. The palate is overall not as complex and grandiose as the nose presaged... Rather deceiving but still very pleasant.
Finish: A nice honeyed sweetness but with that persisting lemon tang. Holds together well, but ends quite dry... Immediately makes you want another sip!
Overall a very nice whisky but maybe not a memorable one. I have to admitI expected more, and that my initial excitation at the nose quickly faded at the palate and did not particularly rise at the finish. Yet, this is still a very good option for those like me who do not particularly appreciate the super sweetness and smoothness that is usually found in old Speysider, but who still fancy a mellower dram from time to time.