An interesting nose – initial crème anglaise and milk ice-lollies develop into clean medicinal notes (cherry tunes, snuff, ‘snowdrops outside a hospital window’). The neat palate is not particularly sweet – rather oily, bitter and manly – tar, molasses, toasted fennel seeds, nutmeg and drying peat heat. Water brings some caramel sweetness to the nose – marrons glacés, cherry cake and banana split – but it still has embers and ash. The reduced palate finds ginger cake and peppery black bun, tarragon, liquorice and aniseed (especially on the finish) but achieves greater balance – sweeter, with fewer drying bitter notes. It leaves a pleasant, long-lasting impression.
Cask: Refill barrel Age: 16 years Date distilled: April 2002 Alcohol: 56.3% USA allocation: 48 bottles