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- Brand: Unknown
- ABV: 59.6%
It's been a while since I've written a review - keepin' busy during The Covid! I acquired this from Scotch Whisky Auctions many years ago - I had to bid on it since you never get an opportunity like this: hand-bottled straight from the cask at Cadenhead's retail store! Not sure which one, though I'd guess Campbeltown. They have small casks set up where you can fill a 200ml bottle by hand, it's very cool.
This one is an unnamed Islay malt, bottled Dec 18 2009 for a Caroline Smith. Caroline....if you are out there..... I have your bottle. But you can't have it back. You lose! Or maybe she never got it? What is the story behind this? Maybe her boyfriend brought it back for her from his trip to Scotland - and when he got home, she dumped him before he gave it to her! Forlorn and heartbroken, he could not face this precious gift any longer. With tears in his eyes and a catch in his throat, he sold it at auction for peanuts. And now, I have it in my glass, while our poor friend spends his days asking "Would you like fries with that?" and going home to his single bed and pet lizard. It's the circle of life, folks.
The colour is a pale gold; there are tiny particles floating around - love the raw cask! On the nose we have juicy tropical fruits (papaya, mango skins, pineapple), greenish strawberries and peat that sits in perfect balance. Grassy. Milk chocolate. Pine. Macadamia. Peppery. Water brings down the heat. Fruity, peaty, complex. Stunning.
Silky on the palate with a lot more peat; also banana, strawberries-and-cream and almond butter. Mouth-drying. While the nose had mango skins, the palate has the juice running down my chin - fat and pulpy. Spicier with water, and the peat gets dialled up big time. So, so delicious....
The finish is quite spicy with similar notes - fruit, peat and this time, more oak. If I had to guess the distillery (and of course I have to, who wouldn't) - I'd guess Bowmore just from the fruitiness (though Pam, the Bowmore expert, disagrees, but she's also smoking while tasting it so who knows). But I can tell you this is one stunner of a malt. And since this is one bottle of one, this review is less about consumer recommendation and more about complete narcissism.