The nose takes you to a Hebridean beach – dying bonfire, wisps of wood ember smoke and ash; the machair behind – then slowly, toffee, vanilla slice and almond croissant sweetness emerges. The smoke is sweet, spicy and exquisitely playful in the mouth – aniseed Liquorice Allsorts, sugar-coated fennel seeds and humbugs, with gentle clove, nutmeg and menthol numbing. With water, the nose discovers hospital corridors and first-aid kits, vapour rub, lemon zest, tarragon and thyme – very clean, subtle smoke. The palate becomes sweeter and softer – Fisherman’s Friends, blackcurrant Tunes, burnt twigs and grilled prawn shells, with an effervescent, sherbet lemon finish – fantastically moreish.
Cask: Second-fill barrel Age: 20 years Date distilled: May 1998 Alcohol: 54.9% USA allocation: 72 bottles