Nose: Fields of new ferns, menthol, bruised mint and moss, with toffee, cedar and fruit underneath – dried strawberry and a touch of mango.
Palate: Perfumed wood, incense, brown sugar, green leaves and rich earth, along with some alcohol heat. A drop of water softens the dram and peels back some of the wood to show off more sweetness, with chocolate wafers, shortbread, liquorice and mint.
Finish: Waxed wood, incense, liquorice and dark chocolate.
Comment: One of the most anticipated drams in the lineup and it meets expectation – a masterpiece of wood management with fruity spirit balanced by darker woody notes and spice. Tasty, and the label looks even better in person than in the picture…
Appearance: Vibrant amber or faded polished mahogany. Medium beaded and very viscous.
Nose: Mild and profound, opening scented with eucalyptus oil and a trace of leather infusing a soft pillow of marshmallow and creamy toffee. Through this runs a rich vein of clean, tropical fruit sharpness, underscored by soft, crumbly, malty notes with a wisp of smoke. In time, the appetising fruit retreats into a rich, creamy shell. A little water brings up the soft toffee creaminess and a little mint, as the fruity complex becomes fresher.
Body: Lightly oily. Smooth.
Palate: Big and oily in texture; gently warming and extremely soft and comforting, like a whisky syrup! The taste is immediately sweet yet, with a note of aniseed, not cloying. Successive waves of pepper, salt and smoke follow, revealing a mouth-drying nature. With water, the texture remains big, thick and tongue-coating; the taste is sweeter, cooler and minty; slightly dusty, too, with hints of shortbread and scented smoke.
Finish: Superbly balanced, with an unusual aftertaste of perfumed smoke. There’s still sweetness but it’s in essence drying, with notable cedar-rich hints of cigar box.