Nose: Very sweet, with crystallised ginger, vanilla cream, pine, sappy wood and lots of spice – cloves, cinnamon, green anis, nutmeg. Initially the green wood and spice build up in the glass, but after 5-10 minutes the vanilla and cream stand out.
Palate: Oily mouthfeel with lots of bitter spice – clove especially. Behind that is sweet new oak, with vanilla, ginger and some drying tannis. The spice makes it feel quite hot, with a cinnamon tingle slowly turning to spicy oak and cocoa.
Finish: Warming and drying, with freshly cut oak boards, a touch of dry cardboard, tingly cinnamon and gentle sugary sweetness lingering. The finish is rather long, with some sweet anis and green wood hanging around after everything else has faded.
Comment: A masterclass in how to get woody flavours into whisky. It’s got the gingery virgin oak, without getting rubbery as some new wood matured drams do, stacks of woody spice and also some of the softer, creamy notes you get from American oak. It’s definitely got some extremes of flavour hiding in its depths, but a drop of water rounds off the edges.