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When I told the owner of the place I was odering this dram, he looked at me with a grin and said "Good for you! I'm going to go grab this one for you." He got up from his seat, and walked down to the basement to get it, bringing it back up to pour me a dram.
When he brought it back to the table for me, my heart was racing with anticipation. What journey would this take me on? I have never had anything near as old as this!
He sets it in front of me, and I approached it delicately.
Nose: Unbelievable. So heavy, so refined, so complex... this dram smells like it has seen history. I get old vanilla, clove, a really lovely musky smell of dates and a subtle hint of smoke on the end similar to that of the 12 year old, but much, much more intricate. Truly a gem and a priviledge thus far.
Palate: So, so smooth... wow. In a similar way to that of the 12 year, you get a lot on the palate that you got on the nose, and in this case, I absolutely adore that about this grandfather dram. I took my time with this.. nosing, tasting, more nosing, searching and peeling back the layers the best that I could. Up front was a beautiful oak, dates, more vanilla, dried fruits, giving way to this swirling in and out of whisps of smoke, married with the dates and what almost seemed like rasberry... but man, the age has done wonders here in smoothing, blending and bringing out the nuances of the spirit, and the spirit bringing out the nuances of the wood. The way that these two have married is unbelievable.
Finish: Like slowly waking up from a great dream - all you want is to force yourself back to sleep to continue to experience it. This finish is long, hanging with you in an amazing way. Warmth, oak, more fruitiness...
I was blown away by this dram and had a touch of difficulty in picking out each individual flavor. It was so, so amazing and complex and balanced... unbelievable. Unlike anything else I have had. I hope to enjoy this again some day.