Girvan: No 4 Apps (Scottish Single Grain Whisky: No Age Statement: 42.6% ABV)
Visual: Light pale and brackish. Becomes hazy with water.
Viscosity: Very slow thin streaks.
Nose: Light oak. Butterscotch and oatmeal. Oily. Pear drops and apple. Water adds heather, white sugar dusting and fruity hard sweets.
Body: Butterscotch. Smooth. Vanilla. Lime sorbet. Light apricot. Water sweetens, adds apples and pears. Caramel. light nuttiness.
Finish: Malt chocolate. Oak. Energy to the air. Light milky coffee. Light apricot. Zesty lime note. Water adds apples and pear drops.
Conclusion: This is very interesting, coming on the back of the New Make Spirit as it does. Neat it has a similar sweet character, but with slightly oilier and heavier whisky notes. The sweetness is butterscotch and vanilla developing off the creamy character. It takes water to bring out the promise of bright green fruit that was in the make spirit.
So, without water it feels like a standard, slightly middle of the road whisky, however just a few drops of whisky helps bring it into its own – and it really needs those drops to shine. Without is seems a bit too heavy for the flavour and the slightly oily character feels out of place. Water gives ample smoothness, akin to a well made lowland whisky. The butterscotch richness now has milky coffee dessert undertones.
While not vastly complex this seems to be a straight shot of the quality that have come to think of as the Girvan style. A thick caramel but slick texture delivering sweet notes and a few high hats of green fruit that call to the house style identifiable in the make spirit.
It is a solid mainstay, like my first experience of Girvan it is one that delivers a compelling argument for single grain, though here with slightly fewer flourishes. A very solid dram.
Background: The second of the samples sent to me by Girvan. As before, full disclosure they sent me the samples, and had paid for me to visit the distillery, etc. This, which is a mix of whisky from their new no 4 and no 5 vacuum distillation columns has been aged in American Oak. Initially tried at the trip to Scotland, I took time back home to drink this while listening to some relaxing Iron Maiden: Dance Of Death. odd things relax me. leave me alone.