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This is a bottle I've been waiting for a long time to buy and add to my cabinet: I've enjoyed the whisky many times at my favourite whisky bar, but I've always gotten sidetracked with other malts when visiting the liquor store... so, finally, here it is, a dram from a personal bottle.
Appearance: Light caramel. Probably some E150 is in this.
Nose: Rigt after the pour, I detect a dry smoke along with some peat and a lot of teaser notes: chocolate, grain, cigarette ash, pepper. The smoke is not medicinal like many Islays: it is like the subtle smokyness from clothes worn to a bonfire in the next morning. This is a robust and substantial whisky alright, but in the good sense. Very lively.
Palate: Leathery, a bit of iodine and salt, firm. The smokyness is almost absent now, replaced by very bitter chocolate, earth, seaweed and dry malt. Mineral and ever-changing on the tongue, it coats the entire mouth. This is a whisky I don't want to let go: it is lively and almost animal like.
Finish: Long, very long with a lot of spice at first. You get the earth in the palate and now you get what grows in and on the earth: fruit a bit of wood tannins.
This is not a whisky for people who have a sweet tooth or who are in a hurry. This is a whisky to savour and nurse, which might be why I very often opted to get a dram of this when available in bars, to finish the night off. I feel this whisky will become a mainstay in my cabinet in the future.
A NOTE ON MY SCORING: 60-: Will try to turn it down for a beer or cocktail if offered for free. 61-70: Would not buy, decent enough. 71-80: Will buy a dram and enjoy, maybe not a bottle though. We enter in the decent to good category. 81-90: Very enjoyable. A must try if not a must have. 91+: Would be a must have, but rarity/price is probably an obstacle to this. Reserved for excellent bottles.