Nose of strong oatmeal, bananas, fruity apples, tomato sauce. Gingerbread and cardboard. Nice nose.
Palate -- ooh, really nice. A big spice-fest, but not overdone or overwhelming...
BUT successive sips get less impressive, although the nose stays great. Hmmm. Now I'm liking it again. On some sips this has aspects of the current Tomatin lineup (which I like quite a bit), and others just fail. Weird. Tasty but inconsistent, so B/B-
N: Bandages, Bactine, bakery smells. P: Big gingery spicy something, kinda organic and leafy too. F: Gets strange in the finish, sort of artificial smoke flavoring and burnt green wood. I was on the fence with this one, has some very unique aspects but then they start to get annoying. I wrote B-/A-, so averaged to a B.
Intensely spiced wood hits your nose initially. As it breathes, more honey sweetness and winey notes emerge and I realize it smells rather oily and has hints of iodine. Fruits come out on the palate (green apples and pears) with some nuttiness. The finish of grapefruits and bitter licorice sticks to your tongue. Its almost kinda peaty.
Overall this was ok. Felt like it was an identity crisis. It has a very different profile than I'm used to with Japanese malts. More toward the winey side and I would believe it if someone told me it was finished or an experimental. The body on this is good but it definitely dries out toward the finish and is pretty hot going down. B-/C+
N: A little prickly but not problematic. A bit of solvent. Some toffe and butterscotch; medicinal like bandages or Chloraseptic, but not at the strength that note would show up in a Laphroaig. I can pick up some faint vanilla. Water opens it up, bringing more grassy, green notes to the fore and taking the vanilla along for the ride. A little more malt is evident.
P: Medium light, still medicinal in the same way as the nose. Picks up an earthy, somewhat peaty note, with a little dried fruit, wood, wax, slight note of oranges, with a light maltiness underneath. Some mild spice - pepper and a faint hint of chili oil. With water, the mouthfeel is much weightier; it's somewhat gentler and brings the woodier notes to the fore. Dustiness persists.
F: Dries out and gives a dusty, slightly melon-rind note. Woody, waxy agsin, hint of brine. Some light pepper and spice. Finish gets hotter with water and loses dustiness.
This benefits greatly from water. It's a fine whiskey and I wouldn't turn it down. The medicinal notes are nice.