Our next Millstone is a peated single malt distilled in May 2013 and bottled - according to the hand-written label - on April 31 2018. This is Bottle No. 4230. Not sure if this spent the entire time in PX or not. According to the packaging on this one, Zuidam mills its grain using only a windmill - seriously, how much more Dutch can you possibly get??
The colour is a darkish gold. On the nose - again, quite sooty like the 10yo but there is definitely some dirty peat there in the background. Damp bonfire, dark caramel and so many berries - blackberries, cherries, and candies like wine gums and liquorice. Gets smokier and sootier with water. The peat and the sherry are a bit at loggerheads here but it's a lot of fun watching them (or smelling them?) duke it out.
The palate is much peatier with smoked mackerel and cigarillo smoke, but also shoves in those tannic fruity sherry notes (it does kind of taste like it spent its entire life in PX, but hey I could be wrong). Baking spices abound, lots of cinnamon, clove and Angostura bitters. The peat and sherry together really work here - there's a lot going on (though water evens things out and brings out the core malt that's been hiding...and a bit more spice). But maybe there's too much going on? Hm.
The finish is milder than I expected, with some savoury spice and rich oak. Very much in the same wheelhouse as the 10yo French Oak: both are messy, dirty affairs, but the layering within the Peated PX edges it up for me just slightly. Now, next comes the third one and it looks really interesting...