Note: I tried this single malt on two occasions. The first time I found it to be flawed (and rated it a C) while Adam gave it an A-. Since we are rarely so divergent, we decided to hold off posting notes and put this bottle into a meeting. Served blind to 12 members, it got an average rating of A-. And on this second night I gave it a B+. I can only assume that something was effecting my palate that first night, even though we used a calibrator whiskey (Glenfiddich 12) to test for such things and it seemed fine. This is probably all a moot point, since I found this dusty bottle at a random liquor store in rural Illinois, and it's otherwise long gone from the shelves.
N: Spirity and slightly musty, dried leaves, tobacco, apricot, and tea. Prickles the nose. P: Palate is huge, with lots of tobacco and fruity iced tea. F: Some mentholyptus cough drops action, sweet and numbing. (In the first tasting my notes ended with ...and really f***ing dry and bitter, but I didn't get that the second time.)
By the way gents, this bottle was put into the meeting free of charge to resolve the disagreement between Adam and I, and now that I like it, I'm taking it back!!
Sweet sherry fruits and cherries with prunes and a light cerealy/grassy note in the background that actually adds to this (usually puts me off a bit but works here). The cereals and sherry on the palate are extremely well balanced and neither dominates. Finish is shorter than I hoped with some numbing antiseptic tingle. Very good bottle. Will have more.
Nose is fruity with light sherry, but also a solvent and chemical note. After opening up a bit, oaky spices emerge. The palate is rather sweet and full of puckery fruits. Nutty stuff too, some vanilla. And an aspect that I can best describe as "woody spice cabinet." Finish is long, with pepper and cinnamon entering. After a short time that solvent/chemical thing goes away, and more wood spice replaces it... yum!! This is a continually pleasing and surprising whisky, with various aspects appearing and disappearing on different sips, the way I like it. The wood is big, yet I don't mind. Doesn't taste like 58%. Overall, this is kinda weird but kinda good.... quite sweet, spicy, and elusive... It's an odd one, but one for me. One to sip when relaxed and contemplative.
N: Pleasant, sherry nose. T: Hot, sherry and some oak/wood. F: Very pleasant, mid-length finish, heavy sherry and wood notes. O: A good example of a sherry monster. Very good. Reminds me of a hot, smooth Mac 18.