Tag Archive: 14 Year


Signatory Vintage: Coleburn 1983 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 14 Years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Pale gold. Slow medium thickness streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Heather. Peppery. Lots of oak and pencil shavings. Moss. Cinder toffee. Alcohol fumes. Water adds sulphur and boiled eggs. More water clears to toffee and moss.

Body: Apples to apple pie. Oak. Tannins. Soot. Peppery sweets. Cinder toffee. Light strawberry. Black pepper. Charring. Water adds vanilla toffee. Sulphur. More water makes quite clean flavour and slightly oily.

Finish: Aniseed. Oak. Greenery to moss. Soot. Slight charring. Slightly numbing. Spicy. Water brings out sulphur. More water makes slightly oily.

Conclusion: So, a commonly used phrase with whisky is that “you can add water, but you can’t remove it”. That applies double when you only have a miniature to play with. Triple when that mini is this one.

Neat this starts out fairly dull, but develops in quite interesting ways. It is initially peppery and heather led. Which is not much to write home about, right?

There is more than that to come though. Initially the only release from the more savoury notes is an apple pie sweet base, but over time it eases out into a far more fun cinder toffee sweetness. Even the peppery character starts to alter to remind me of those deliberately hot peppery sweets that I bought as a kid. It is still a bit sooty, still a bit musty overall, but now at least interesting to go along with that. There are unusual and pleasant layers under the more Milquetoast front.

Anyway, so, playing with water. Water kind of brings out the worst in this. Initially it brings out an eggy sulphur like touch into a sort of slight sulphurous oiliness. Not a good element in itself and it hurts the whisky overall by overwhelming some of the more interesting subtle flavours.

More water relaxes the influence of the worst notes, but also the good ones. It turns it into a very generic whisky. Nothing good, nothing bad.

Overall, when had neat it has some interesting quirks, but is generally straightforward. Water ruins it. As a general priced whisky this would be sub par. As an expensive dead distillery whisky I say avoid.

Background: Coleburn is a long silent distillery, so when I saw that The Whisky World had a miniature of it I snapped it up. Most silent distilleries are out of my price range, so – while millilitre for millilitre miniatures are expensive, they give me a chance to try distilleries I would normally not be able to try. Signatory Vintage tend to be a very solid one for independent bottlings so I had confidence they would be decent. This was bottled back in 1997, which explains why there was some rust on the container’s metal lid. A quick research in my books tells me Coleburn was build back in the 1890s and lived right through to the 1980s (1985 to be exact) , so this is right from the tail end of its life. It’s spirit was always intended for use in blends, so bottlings are comparatively rare. For a whisky like this I wanted some appropriate music so went with the electrical oddity wonder that is Marie Davidson’s Perte D’identite.

Douglas Laing: Old Particular: Port Dundas 14 Year (Scottish Single Grain Whisky: 14 Year: 48.4% abv)

Visual: Deep gold. Middling speed thick streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Thick honey. Honey nut cornflakes. Slight alcohol tingle. Grapes. Caramel. Vanilla. Water adds light sulphur and apples.

Body: Honey. Apricot. Oak. Smooth orange juice hints. Grapes. Slight alcohol harshness. Water makes smooth, with more honey and slight apple. Custard sweetness.

Finish: Caramel. Honey. Oak. Alcohol air. Water adds apples and more honey.

Conclusion: Wow, this is a honey sweet, syrupy, caramel laden whisky. I don’t think I have ever encountered a whisky as flat out sweet as this before.

It has a touch of rough alcohol neat, but a few drops of water quickly sorts that out. Then, had with those few drops of water, you have massively sweet, syrupy tasting whisky delivered smoothly with a few green fruit notes around the edges.

It’s fairly simple, but impressively powerful in the sweet flavours. I will have to admit that I have yet to get a grip on what exactly is the Port Dundas house style – every expression I’ve had has been so very different, possible the house style is that it takes so much from the oak and that is why, but any which way, I can definitely see the appeal of this one. It is very well set to be an easy sipping whisky, with water at least – the only bit against that is that it gets a tad overly oaken in the finish, but generally it is good.

So, a sweet burst of a whisky – if that is your thing then definitely check it out.

Background: So, eighth time around – Mini whisky samples! Woo woo! (I’m repeating myself so much that I’m starting to feel like San at the end of a bad run on Undertale …) These were donated to me by Independent Spirit for me to do notes on – much appreciated! Being a sample this is a smaller measure than normal, so may be slightly shorter notes that usual, not that I’m complaining. From a quick google I think this is distilled 2004, bottled 2014 and was aged in a Pedro Ximénez cask, which would explain a lot of the unusual notes I got. Went with some unusual heavy tunes for this, a CD a mate gifted to me years ago – Byzantine – The Fundamental Component – I have no idea what the lyrics are saying, but it is heavy as fuck.

That Boutique-y Whisky Company: Single Malt Irish 14 Year: Batch 4 (Irish Single Malt Whiskey: 14 Year: 47.6% ABV)

Visual: Light, clear browned gold. Fast, thick streaks come from the spirit.

Nose: Pencil shavings. Pear. Cereal grain. Lightly nutty. Water adds Shredded Wheat. Dried apricot. Dry sherry.

Body: Smooth. Toffee to caramel. Alcohol warmth. Very milky coffee. Pears. Quite thick. Sultanas if held in the mouth. Water adds apricot touch. Light apple. More water adds fruit cake notes.

Finish: Oatmeal. Alcohol air. Crushed walnuts. Water adds milky coffee notes. Slight sultanas. Slightly more alcohol presence. More water makes creamy. Dry sherry. More sultanas. Sherry trifle comes out over time.

Conclusion: This is a very robust Irish whiskey – giving a slightly thicker mouthfeel than normal, along with a bit of alcohol weight. In fact the alcohol never seems to completely go away, even with water, which is unusual for an Irish whiskey.

What water does do though, is give it a very interesting flavour progression. Well water and time, but mainly water. Initially the flavours seemed towards the lighter end of the spectrum with green fruit notes and sweet caramel, that are towards the more common and expected notes for Irish spirit, just with a thicker texture. It can be slightly overly oak touched in the aroma but generally nice.

Water brings out what feels like a lot of sherry ageing influence – there is dry sherry, light nuttiness, more fruitcake and dark fruit notes. It feels like each drop of water darkens the fruit more until finally sherry trifle sweetness bursts out, bringing it to a sweet flip side of the original spirit.

The weight of the whisky feels like Highland Scotch whisky, but it is still smooth despite the weight and depth of character. It feels like a very Scotch whisky influenced Irish whisky, kind of like the older, more sherried Bushmills’ expressions, only with more alcohol weight to give it more to delve into.

A very rewarding, slightly dry whisky. Don’t grab it if you want a more traditional Irish easy drinking smooth thing, but if you want an Irish whiskey you can really dig into and dissect then this is a good one to go to.

Background: I’ve had a tad of free time finally recently so dropped over to the Hideout to take advantage of their awesome whisky selection again. They had just got in a bumper selection of new That Boutique-y Whisky Company expressions in, think it is about twenty five expressions. I am becoming a fan of that lot, they are reasonably priced, and put out some brilliant expressions in weird and wonderful colourful bottles that are so unlike the usual sombre and reserved bottles. This one is an Irish Single Malt from an unnamed distillery – I’ve been wanting to grab more Irish stuff for a while so this was a nice chance – If I had to guess I would say this was Bushmills, but my knowledge of Irish single malts is significantly less than the Scottish stuff, so take that with a pinch of salt.

Springbank: Bourbon Wood: 14 Year (Scottish Campbeltown Single Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 55.8% ABV)

Visual: Pale greened gold. Thick slow streaks.

Nose: Pencil shavings. Moss. Dry nuttiness. White chocolate and vanilla. Water adds vanilla toffee to fudge.

Body: Thick and spirity. White chocolate. Grassy. Oily character. Vanilla. Orange notes. Shreddies. Water adds lime and fudge. Still strong feel. More grassy and moss. Apples. More water adds toffee liqueur.

Finish: Menthol air. White chocolate. Nutty oils. Creamy orange. Light smoke, Water adds lime, grassy character. Peat character comes out. Apples. Marshmallows.

Conclusion: I tried this whisky first at one of Independent Spirit’s Uber whisky tastings – I was taking it easy that night so did not take any notes at the time. What I did take though was a bottle of this home with me. Ok, technically I took it home a short while later – I try not to make such purchases after alcohol has influenced my decisions.

On first sip of this, my own bottle of it, I feared that my drunken memory had fooled me – it was still a solid Springbank – grassy, mossy, smoke and hint of peat, but it didn’t live up to my memory of an excellent stand out whisky. The alcohol character gives this thick, warming, oily character that is really overwhelming and lets little of the subtlety out to play.

Still, at an abv like this has, why was I surprised? So, let us hope that water, as is usual, is the difference maker. So I added a little. Daaaamn. That was indeed, the difference maker. This is now sweeter than the average Springbank – it seems that spending its full time in bourbon wood has given a solid vanilla toffee, fudge and white chocolate set of notes that make a huge contrast to the native grass and peaty character that makes this stand out. Odder still you have this lovely apple character behind it that seems to be an element of the spirit that has not really shown itself before.

It is delightful – the slightly heavier, but not Longrow level peat character comes out now. The savoury grass notes work brilliant against the bourbon backed white chocolate sweetness. Despite me mentioning them several times the sweetness is used in a subtle way – not sickly and nowhere near overpowering the basic Springbank character. They just come together naturally to make a whisky that is very different, while still giving what makes Springbank enjoyable.

While this is not my favourite Springbank, it is probably one of the more unusual, and considering some of the odd oak casks Springbank has been aged in, that says something. It is not that it is radically showy, just that the elements come together for a very different experience – an almost marshmallow like backed Springbank thing of joy. Enjoy it if you can.

Background: As mentioned in the notes I tried this at an Uber whisky tasting at Independent Spirit and was very impressed – so was at least confident that I was going to enjoy this one when I got home. Springbank is from one of only three distilleries in Campbeltown and is probably my favourite (Though I am unsure if the Springbank set, or the more peated Longrow expressions are the best the distillery turns out). This one is, as the name would suggest, purely aged in Bourbon casks which should give quite a different character. Continuing recent efforts to break out classic tunes when drinking – put on some Jack Off Jill – Sexless Demons and Scars. Such a great, angry and powerful album.

jura-tastival

Jura: Tastival (Scottish Island Single Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 51% ABV)

Visual: Bronzed gold.

Viscosity: Quite slow thick streaks.

Nose: Treacle toffee. Cinnamon. Honey. Cinnamon rolls. Light tar notes. Thick. Sugared orange. Stewed fruit. Water adds cinnamon pears.

Body: Strong. Alcohol presence. Orange liqueur. Spiced rum. Treacle toffee. Cinnamon. Water makes cinnamon pears. Slight charring. More water adds apples, a touch of salt. Vanilla toffee and treacle.

Finish: Malt chocolate and light oak. Spiced wine notes. Cinnamon and pepper. Light charring. Water adds treacle and chocolate liqueur. Light salted rocks.

Conclusion: Jura have been a go to whisky for me for a while now. Their entry level stuff is very nice, and generally not too expensive – while their Prophecy expression stands out as a great, complex peaty whisky. This is different again from those. The higher abv gives it a bigger, thicker character and a lot of room to roam.

This is a dark, rich expression with deep chocolate liqueur notes and light charring – all darker notes which calls to Bowmore Darkest or some of the Dalmore series for inspiration. It has that similar, very luxurious character, albeit with a strong alcohol punch if taken neat, and they are accentuated by a definite cinnamon sweetness and rum to red wine spiciness. It really, even when with the force of being neat, gives a decadent dark dessert feel. Death by chocolate meets cinnamon doughnuts.

Water soothes out the alcohol weight and gives hints of lighter notes hidden below it; Never huge, but there are feelings of subtle cinnamon pears and such like in there. Also water brings out, on the opposite side, subtle more traditional island characteristics – light salted rocks – again very minor, but gives it a grounding so it is not just a sweet, thick whisky.

Overall these just balance out an already very good experience – it gives hints of the more familiar expressions of Jura, but matched with that luxurious chocolate and cinnamon – making it like an island character backed dessert expression. Just enough added edge to make it unusual.

Very nice indeed, and probably now my tied favourite Jura with Prophecy.

Background: The 14 year is from a quick google that says the youngest spirit in this is 14 years. Anyway – this was my first tasting note done at The Hideout – a new whisky bar in Bath. Damn they have a nice selection – will try and take advantage of them to get some more unusual whisky tasting notes up on here. It is always nice to be able to try the more unusual stuff by the dram. This one is the Jura whisky done for the 2016 festival and has been aged in Palomino Fino, Amoroso and Apostoles sherry casks. Which actually goes beyond my knowledge of Sherry, so I will assume that is good.

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The Tweeddale 14

The Tweeddale: 14 Year Batch 5 (Scottish Blended Whisky: 14 year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale yellowed grain.

Viscosity: Fast streaks.

Nose: Light. Husked grains. Wholegrain cereal. Water does little to change.

Body: Very smooth. Honey. Light grapes. Very mild alcohol character. Smooth lime cordial. Water makes bigger toffee and bigger body. More water adds vanilla custard and slight lemon meringue.

Finish: Light malt drinks. White grapes. Key lime pie. Water makes more toffee character and chocolate eclair toffee sweets. Apples.

Conclusion: This is 46% abv? No way! The character actually reminded me of the Irish Whiskey style with its sweetness and lightness of drinking character – not a 46% abv blended scotch at that. I’m having my expectations kicked away a lot recently.

Oddly water actually gives it more body, not less, bringing out a big toffee and a more traditional whisky character. The world is topsy turvy today.

Aside from that I’m mainly getting gentle honey sweetness and soft lime and such green fruit flavours. The aroma does very little, with or without water – just slight grain and cream – so, generally, the body onwards is left to do all the heavy lifting and work.

Despite its light character water is vital for opening up the main body. Seemingly a too light Irish whiskey wannabe neat, as water comes in the toffee and green fruit become more present and more varied – going from toffee, to toffee eclair sweets, and from grapes to lime, apples and so on.

The description of this mentions that an Islay cask was used to add some smoke to it – I’m not really getting it myself – Having read it I can kind of apply it to the notes that exist, but that is kind of cheating. Before I read it they came across more like the grain whisky influence that any peat influence.

So, is it good, and from that, is it worth it? Erm,give me a mo to check how much this is going for and I will let you know. Ok, official price seems to be mid 40 quid, but available for mid to late 30s. I wouldn’t drop the official price on it, but at under 40 – yeah I would say it is worth that. It blends the easy drinking style akin to Irish whisky with a good solid Scotch weight of flavour. Not overly complex, more a general sipping whisky, but very well done as that – especially at getting such a smooth character at an above average abv, while still giving a satisfying flavour. So, sits well in the niche it has carved for itself.

Background: Bias Warning: This sample was given to me by Independent Spirit for doing notes on, they also kindly provided the photo of the bottle as I did not have my camera on me at the time. Many thanks. This is a blended whisky made with 50% grain and 50% malt – from 1 grain whisky and 8 malts. Drink while listening to more of Pulp. Yes I am on a Pulp kick at the moment. The bottle it came from is one of 1200 bottles.

Adelphi The Glover 14 Year

Adelphi: The Glover: 14 Year (Scottish and Japanese Blended Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 44.3% ABV)

Visual: Yellowed deep gold.

Viscosity: Fast thick streaks.

Nose: Smoke. Dried apricots and almonds. Thick. Vanilla. Apples. Water brings out pears and cinnamon.

Body: Very smooth texture, but noticeable alcohol. Malt chocolate, smoke and charring. Apricot slices. Dried beef slices. Intense peach syrup sweetness and stewed fruit. Coal dust. Water adds apples and cinnamon, beef broth and a steam beer texture. Tropical fruit. Treacle. More water adds vanilla toffee.

Finish: Smoke and ash. Malt chocolate. Steam beer air. Cinnamon. Toffee and stewed fruit. Water adds treacle, still an alcohol air. More water adds beef broth and vanilla toffee.

Conclusion: This is a very odd one to do notes on, as I had to return a few times more than usual. The experience when I first tried on the bottle opening, when I tried when doing notes, and when I tried post doing notes but before putting up the notes, all were different experiences. So I drank a bit more and did a few more sets of notes, and this is the final conclusion.

This is a very thick whisky – Now it does have a bit higher abv than usual, but from the mouthfeel I would have guessed that this was a cask strength. Thankfully, while it does have a noticeable alcohol character, it isn’t near the usual cask strength fire and what it does have is easily muted by water.

It punches with smoke from the aroma onwards, but not in what would be the more expected peaty, meaty way of whiskeys such as Ardbeg. This has drier smoke with a coal dust style character that is simultaneously lower intensity but despite that harsher in the impact due to the dryness. This is one of the elements that seemed to vary a lot however, there is always some element of the character but it seemed very variable depending on circumstances.

That is not the most notable characteristic though – the unusual character that really comes out is as the originally smooth mouthfeel expands out into a strange, almost steam beer styled, slightly gas cooker styled, feel. It reminds me of an old whisky I had tried that had been direct heated rather that indirect heated at distillation. I am unsure if that is what caused the characteristic here – I know some Japanese distilleries go very old school and traditional on making their whisky. Any which way it gives a very distinct character.

Initially the whisky was dominated by full and harsh coal notes, water lets it soften to green fruit and apricot slices that come out backed treacle sweetness. The whisky it is still led by that gas cooked air and can be harsh coal backed, though these element seemed to come and go in the varied tastings. The sweetness matches the intensity of the harshness when it is there, but does not reduce the impact. When the harshness is not present you instead get a huge stewed fruit sweetness pushing forth in its place.

When it still has those harsh notes it feels slightly too all intense, all the time for me. The thing people oft forget about Laphroaig and Ardbeg is that for all their intensity, they have sweetness contrast or moments of release. Thankfully in the majority of my samples the harsh notes gave way to that stewed fruit, still intense but providing that touch of contrast.

Now that is not to say that there is not a lot else going on, as you can see from the notes there are cinnamon and apples mix – pear notes that remind me of Hakushu whisky, though it is not unique to that distillery. It is well made and smooth, especially with water, and remains smooth even with the harsh flavours when they are present, but it doesn’t always mesh.

I admire its mix of odd and even possible nigh unique characteristics, when it works it is good – the mix of smoke, steam beer character and stewed fruit is a journey. It possibly doesn’t need to be as thick as it is all the time, it can get wearing – especially when the harsher notes are there. As a whisky it is a tad unreliable, hence needing multiple returns, but when it is on it is very distinct and pretty good.

Background: 1,500 notes, and I have been holding this one since the beginning of the year for the special occasion – grabbed from The Tasting Rooms on recommendation, this is a blend of Japanese and Scottish Malt whisky and one of 1,500 bottles. Well, 1,500 bottles this release. I’m sure they will do another release. As a fan of both countries’ whisky this sounded fascinating. So, for music, did I go for J-pop, anime soundtracks, taiko drumming to reflect Japan? Bagpipes, Scottish Punk, or such for Scotland? No, I went for “Heck”, because it reminds me of their absolutely mental live gigs which are basically riots with music. Hey, my blog, my choice. Been a fun 1,500 notes and here is looking forwards to 1,500 more – thanks for reading, commenting, and, until next time – enjoy your drink!

Connoisseurs Choice Glendullan 1997

Connoisseurs Choice: Glendullan 1997 (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 43% ABV)

Visual: Pleasant light gold.

Viscosity: A mix of very slow and very fast thin streaks.

Nose: Thick. Slight sulphur. Alcohol tingle. Nutty and lightly oily. Undertone of sweet chilli chocolate and nougat. Water makes somewhat floral.

Body: Thick and oily. Warming and tingling alcohol. Chilli seeds. Nut oil. vanilla custard. Praline. Light orange liqueur. Water smoothes, dropping the initial burn. Brings out nut oil and chocolate.

Finish: Malt drink. Oak. Chilli. Praline. Chestnuts. Chocolate. toffee. Water makes smoother and nuttier.

Conclusion: This is a bit of a hidden gem it seems. Hidden both in that you don’t see many bottlings around, and also that it takes a bit of time and water to get it to open up nicely.

Initially there is a bit of alcohol burn and an almost chilli tingle, noticeably oily and thick, but in general hard to get a good grasp on. Time is the first thing to aid it, a short wait brings out a light nuttiness which this the first thing to breach through, along with a malt chocolate character. It is a still a bit over warming, but builds to a praline, nut and vanilla combination. Not entirely unlike a sweeter Strathisla if you need a rough comparison.

Water takes it the next step, dousing the alcohol burn but not that chilli feel below, leading to a warming chilli chocolate style under a very smooth interpretation of the praline and nut character. Here, with a bare dribbling of water, it is luxurious, balancing warming and luxury class chocolate. It feels like a night cap drink, yet with that wake up call chilli tingle, relaxing yet invigorating.

Frankly it is…wait for it.. Frankly it is…

Not a dull-an

HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHA..hahahah…ha…

Oh, forget it.

Background: Bottled 2011. Connoisseurs Choice have been a very reliable go to for independent bottlings, and do a nice range of miniatures as well. This is another distillery that is new to me, so tried in the mini range. Drunk whilst chilling to little Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Lovely haunting stuff, and great for kicking back with a whisky. This was grabbed at the same time that I ordered a whisky from The Whisky Exchange.

Balvenie Caribbean Rum Cask

Balvenie: Caribbean Rum Cask: 14 Year (Scotland Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 14 Years: 43% ABV)

Visual: Dark gold.

Viscosity: Quite fast middling width streaks.

Nose: Planed wood. Raisins. Marzipan. Dried fruit. Water adds potpourri and musty notes.

Body: Custard slice. Raisins. Eccles cakes. Malt chocolate. Mixed spice. Apricot. Dry. Cinnamon. Vanilla. Water makes much sweeter – Golden syrup, mulled wine and almond.

Finish: Shortbread and spice. Malt chocolate and orange. Cinnamon snaps. Water adds dried apricot and Christmas spice. Quite dry.

Conclusion: I’ve always been a sucker for Caribbean rum aged whisky. I first encountered it back at an airport duty free with Bushmills 12 Year Caribbean Rum aged. Seriously, can someone bring that back, it was amazing. Anyway, since that day this particular finish has been one of my soft spots.

The Balvenie benefits similarly, the smooth and sweet character gains a rambunctious air of spice and raisins that gives a more energetic party feel. Strangely here the spice calls to family Christmas spice and cinnamon snaps rather than a full on pirate “me hearty” style. Probably a good thing. For all their cool points these days pirates were dicks. Anyway, I digress, the smooth easy character of Balvenie keeps this spicy party family friendly. Well, family friendly for an alcohol drink.

I grew up in Yorkshire. We started young there. Don’t judge me.

The whisky is slightly warming and spiced over apricot fruits and custard sweetness. It comes with a very drying finish, but apart from that the rest is easy to drink, and with a lot to explore as you do.

The dark raisins added into the lighter fruit makes for a great compliment of styles. The malt chocolate notes you get in the underbelly of Balvine with water seem a tad out of place here thematically but doesn’t hurt the actual flavour of the whisky overall. Which is the most important thing.

Overall the rum adds greatly to an already pleasant whisky making for a good combination of easy drinking and spice liveliness. A good one to have in any cupboard.

Background: Miniatures! All the fun of a big bottle, no need to splash out on 70cl of stuff you may not like. A bit pricy per ml but worth it in my opinion. This came as part of a nice three pack, and the Caribbean Rum cask stood out as the one to try first. Had already reviewed one other, and have a 17 year double wood still to go. Picked up, almost predictably by now, from independent spirit. Drunk while listening to a random shuffle of Erock’s metal tunes.

Tomintoul 14

Tomintoul: 14 Year (Scottish Speyside Single Malt Whisky: 14 Year: 46% ABV)

Visual: Pale grain.

Viscosity: Mainly fast thick streaks.

Nose: Grain fields. Lime cheesecake and marzipan. Some alcohol. Vanilla toffee. Slightly honeyed. Becomes less notable with water.

Body: Light. Honeycomb and a dash of lime. Some alcohol noticeable. Apples. Toffee. Cake sponge. Water removes the alcohol touch and brings out more custard and honey. Sugared almonds and key lime pie.

Finish: Fudge. Custard. Chocolate. Honey. Water adds treacle, key lime and sugared almonds.

Conclusion: I’m glad I returned to Tomintoul. For years I remembered them as a dull and not that interesting, but still with a displeasing alcohol burn. This, drunk years later after a previous pleasing experience with the spirit, and I find that there are so many facets and details that I just didn’t appreciate as a whisky newbie.

It is a very sweet dram, gentle though it may be – toffee, honey and a dash of lime defines your first few moments with it. Very easygoing, subtly setting up each layer upon the previous one, leaving more and more elements that last into a longer and longer finish with each sip.

While I wouldn’t call it the most complex, it does layer up enough, and fills the mouth with a remarkably robust sweetness for such a mild mannered whisky. It has a reasonable amount of play, they are just all centred around the sweet range.

Late on you get green apples joining in, a much needed extra channel of flavour, and a well timed change of pace that creates a very fruity cheesecake dessert feel. I found returning to this a joy, and while not a favourite it reminded me that I should return to drinks and experience them again, to see if they can be re-evaluated and if gems can be found where they were previously not enjoyed.

So a good, if not a loud whisky, an a good lesson to learn.

Background: After trying the recent Oloroso Sherry version of Tomintoul recently, I found my interest in this gentle dram resurging, so picked up this miniature from Independent Spirit. A while, later, having just finished the strange light based puzzler, “Closure” I found myself wishing for a wee dram to celebrate, so broke this open.

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