Nose: well, if both 1977s were in the official style, that means that this 1973 is close to the 1977s (do you follow me?) Maybe a tiny-wee tad more aromatic, with a little more sandalwood and maybe orange blossom, other than that we have plum jam, heather honey, quince jelly, a little peat smoke, tea, just a little mint, hints of rhubarb pie… The whole is superb and does not call for water. Yet… With water: not much changes, I told you ;-), but it was already perfect when neat.
Mouth (neat): beautiful! The oakiness is bigger than in the IBs but the rest is perfect, majestic and complex. At random: mint, dried fruits, liquorice, lemon marmalade, orange marmalade, quinces, plum jam, honeydew, macaroons… and god knows what else. With water: yes! We’re close to perfection now. Extraordinary playfulness at 37 years of age.
Finish: rather long, smooth but firm at the same time, delicately spicy and phenolic, candied, honeyed… Leaves a very fresh and clean aftertaste with just a few tannins. Say 3 tannins (not 2, not 4 – joking).
Comments: I’ll soon have to travel (even) more.