Show rating data charts
Distribution of ratings for this:
I initially got this as part of a DbtD package showcasing 5 Whisky Magazine 2013 winners. This was "Best Australian Single Malt". In the end, this was my "winner of the winners".
First vapor: Initial industrial rust and hot red pepper flake aroma passes. (And luckily has little to do with the rest of the experience.)
Nose: A buttery vanilla becomes a little nuttier-- rather like milk chocolate. Breathing time brings out a little banana bread and acetone, which makes that chocolate seem a tone darker.
Palate: A sweet entrance of... gummy bear candies-- really! A little punch of tutti frutti. Turns to cinnamon with banana and bitter orange; then to acetone, sweet black liquorice, and tickles of white pepper.
Finish: Definitely fruitcake on further swallowing; then becoming less sweet. Nutty exhale: macadamia or cashew.
From the first time I heard of a port matured whisky, I have hoped for a noticeable fruity influence in a malt (I am a port lover). However, I have usually found the flavors are not imparted or are far too subtle; so it's a pleasure to finally experience a malt that reveals the port aging. The 'Gummy Bear' on the palate is of course not as cheap/artificial as it sounds, but it is the closest association, and I think it's a delightfully playful addition to a dram that clearly has other elements to appreciate.
I also like that the palate is not predictable from the nose: milk chocolate turning into fruity accents makes for an energizing expression. This contrast imparts character rather than imbalance. My only wish is that the palate finished a tad sweeter to balance some of the bitterness of white pepper. But this is not a big detractor; the French Oak Cask is my "2013 winner", and I have made sure to secure my own bottle.