Many good folk on here recommended this and I was hesitant. Thanks to @victor and many others for convincing me to take the plunge!
Bottle has been open about 7 weeks with over two thirds left.
Nose - Surprisingly soft on the alcohol for its strength. This can easily be drunk neat. Dense, toffee'd malt with cracked black pepper, iodine, Bolton Fish Market at the start of the day and an array of spice, but ginger and something akin to Chinese five spice stand out. Thick honey. Fresh and clean. Wonderful.
Adding a quarter of a teaspoon of water: Lovely swirling when adding the water that lasts a long time. More peat and pepper for sure.
Taste - Almost tar like in texture. Lovely warming dram with the toffee and a slight figgy sweetness with some honey coming through. The peat comes into the development more. With water, again more of a peaty tang attack on the tongue.
Finish - Quite long and peaty with an almost refreshing dryness from the wood. With water it's a little longer and the sweetness keeps going after the peat has subsided. Nice balance of sweet and sour actually. After a minute or so there's a slight milky coffee with pepper taste that lingers nicely at the back of the throat.
I was very lucky to pick this up for £50 (usually around £70) and had I more cash to spend i'd pick up a couple at that price. This is a graceful bruiser that encapsulates lots of what makes Scotch malt whisky so appealing. Fit for a fireside or a summers evening - really!
@RikS - Yes, MoM. I think it's gone back up a little but still under £60 last time I checked. It feels strange saying that's good value for any whisky to be frank, but given the current market I'd say that is still pretty good vfm.
@Robert99 - You Canadians have my sympathy when it comes to Scotch prices. On the flip side it seems that lots of the home grown stuff is quite stellar at the moment so every cloud and all that . . .