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!
If you ever see that Talisker 175th Anniversary, man that's good! As are the older ones, 18, 25 etc.
Love the Bolton Fish Market reference @RianC do you live close to GMP or Lancashire? Not many other ways to know that smell which was identical to Preston’s fish market which has sadly become a couple of stalls tucked away near a pet store.