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My daughter and I had a fantastic Family Day weekend with my parents (and my brother and his family came by as well), we all went skating, had some great meals and, of course, drank like hell; always an Alexander tradition. I brought along this bottle, having never tried it. I was very impressed.
It's a lovely dark honey colour, with thick legs in the glass. On the nose, you are first hit by very sharp sea salt, and interestingly, it is peaty without being smoky. There is dark citrus (like a blood orange) and buttered burnt toast. Water tames the peat and brings out the malt, and adds a dark Christmas pudding scent.
The palate is a wonderful explosion in your mouth - white pepper and cumin, also minty. It has such a creamy mouthfeel, and water makes that more so, adding honey, vanilla and more orange.
The finish is long and lingering, and very briny. Balance is a wee bit off - there is a lot going on here, it is very complex, but the sweet and the salty don't quite gel together. But I still love this Scotch. It is like all of the great qualities of the Springbank 10 but increased exponentially, as you would hope from a cask strength (and an extra two years maturation). My dad (who is more of a Speyside fan) didn't like it much, but my mom (who is NOT a whisky drinker) tried it and loved it, and she now wants to try more varied whiskies (I've made another convert!)
I'm becoming a big fan of Campbeltown whiskies, though I've only had 2 (and both Springbank) - they don't seem that far removed from Islays. But I am a sucker for that combination of spice, malt, and the spray of sea salt - it's as if I can picture the geography immediately upon tasting. I also have a bottle of Hazelburn CV (same distillery, as I believe there is only the one in Campbeltown now), which I am now even more eager to try.