Nose: Cherries covered in dark chocolate, more cherries with water.
Palate: Note: this was especially strong on the palate but opens up well with water. Tasted at approx. 46%
Luscious velvety mouthfeel (reduced with water though). Smooth and mossy. The peat is very subtle. The Ximinez cask left a light white grapey flavor (which is strange, even though Pedro Ximinez is a white grape). Completely drammable, but not magnificent.
This is a bottle I have almost finished. And it seems to have gotten better with more exposure to air. I also feel the flavors need time to develop -- a whisky that needs a little water and even more air.
N: Cinnamon and sugar on apples in an unbaked pie, wet leaves, turing to a baking pie, apple, then cherry
P: Subtle and hard to determine. Then heat grows and explodes. Rhubarb, dried apricots, with water more sweet and cherry flavors. Then chocolate covered raisins. After savoring a while, the peat finally comes thru when the fruit has died away, but it is so well balanced by some sherry sweetness. The structure is rich and somewhat oily. Holds all these flavors well.
F: Cools and lingers for quite some time, the spicey notes come out more here.
Definitely one to take your time with, not the best to just throw in a tasting of many other whiskies. Very complex and rich if you let it talk to you for a while.
This is one that famously opens up after time so I compared a new bottle to one that had been open for a year.
New bottle notes:
Nose: Rich sherry notes with rubber undertones (Springbanky) Palate: Strong, pushy sherry with some briny notes, fading to a bitter finish. A lot of character but not terribly well integrated and some real bitterness. Does well with a drop of water which brings out some fruit. C-
One year later: The nose is noticeably softer. Sherry tones are less aggressive and lusher. Palate is syrupy and sweet, sherry with some of that rubber underneath, followed by some malty, cereal notes. The bitterness is gone from the late palate and finish. Finish: Pleasant sherry notes and some oceany, coastal stuff. Again, water is a good addition, bringing out more of the coastal, briny flavors (yes, I know this is a Speysider). This one definitely improves with some time and air, but it's still not my cup of tea. B/B-
A- but just barely. This makes me think of something like smoked prunes. The leather and rubber add something rather than take it away. The cherries in the nose don't really make it to the palate. I wish they did. I think the nose for me screams A but the palate speaks more of a B. Very rich and not something I would drink a whole lot of at a single sitting. A very good malt and I really enjoyed it.
PLOWED Vertical re-taste 4/19/2013
Fresh Bottle is very different than the one I have at home that has been open for a couple of years. (I use Private Reserve to avoid oxidation) The new bottle was more bright and(as SKU would put it) pushy. The least favorite of the PLOWED bottles for me. Although least favorite still makes this an "A-."
A beautiful rich deep amber color portends that something special is housed in my glass. The nose has everything you would expect: sherry, raisin, rhubarb and other sweet notes. On the palate, I get a cool combo of peat and sweet wood with the sherry. A little bitter too. The finish is good and not overpowering. In fact it hits a sweet spot. A-/B+ [4/19/13]