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I'm not a great collector of whisky, mainly due to lack of willpower, so it's no real surprise that my bottle of "Spirit of Unity" - an admirable philanthropic gesture by seven independent craft distilleries in Scotland (all in aid of the Japan earthquake disaster) - lasted only 2 weeks on the shelf before tempting me down for an illicit tryst.
Here are my tasting notes...
Nose: Very savoury. Initially a whiff of white pepper and jasmine rice, with a hint of damp sawdust from a carpenters' woodyard. The aroma of a chef grinding smoked sea-salt and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar - then a gentle waft of coastal air, as if sitting on the walls of the Cornish fishing harbour at sunset, tarred ropes and lobster pots just a few feet away.
Taste: Piquant layers of aniseed and wood sap are wrapped in a luxurious base of almond oil, this give you a lovely mouth feel, with a thickness that really caries these flavours. There are leathery notes - like a shoemakers' workshop, with hints of sandalwood and the tiniest drop of tar scraped from the walls of a traditional smokehouse.
Finish: Sherbet lollipops, toasted walnut skins and oriental hot & sour soup. These intense flavours linger nicely for an enduring finish.