In March 2011, The Davids of K&L went to Scotland on their first cask-purchasing expedition. This piqued the curiosity and excitement of… well uh, me, for one, but I think many others as well. The Davids were thrilled to find this cask, saying that it marked the highlight of their finds (and also the most expensive by far). So, I've been intensely looking forward to spending time with it.
I like The Davids, and I'm psyched that they're moving K&L into the Major Leagues of whiskey stores. That means that on one hand, I'm biased to want this whisky to be amazing. On the other hand, I know Ladyburn's reputation. It's considered rare whisky by all means, but nobody's every really proclaimed any bottle of it to be excellent. Of course, very few people have tried much Ladyburn at all (if any), which is a lot of the reason to get this bottle in the first place… not that there are any left to buy, it all sold out on presale!
Okay. With those possible biases disclosed, my notes:
Nose of real green apples and fake green apples (e.g. green apple Jolly Ranchers), distinctly so. Red apples too, skins and cores. This is just super-appley in so many natural and artificial ways. Everything else is more subtle -- caramel, cream, powdered donuts, honey, wildflowers on the breeze. Notes of Total and Special K.
Much like the nose, palate is big and fruity (but not a fruit monster). Darn tasty stuff. Age has made it very drinkable, though it's also pushed the oak to the limits -- but it's a good oak. Adding water does amplify that oak too much, though. Mildly sweet, then drying in the finish.
I search for more flavor descriptors... but this really comes down to simplicity: green apples and oak. It's one of those whiskies in the Lowland style that, while it doesn't do a lot, it does what it does well. It's nice to find a whisky that leaves me satisfied without having to kick me in the balls to do so.
Therefore, I'm pretty confident in saying that The Davids' first truly rare and truly expensive bottling is a "definitely want to own." A recent glass I enjoyed during an episode of Breaking Bad was about as enjoyable as the episode itself. That's a compliment to both sides of the equation.
N: Light, buttery, caramel, and some woody notes. Cake frosty, nectar. P: Wow, really takes off on the palate, lots of fruit with distinct banana notes (banana Runts candy). F: The banana action continues, a bit fiery for a moment but some sugar releases at the end and cools things off. I had this on a couple of occasions and it grew on me each time. On a night of many whiskies, I found this one continued to taste big throughout the night.
Buttery, light mint, long finish. Quite decent. B+
Retaste 2/26/12 (under better circumstances)
n: This is how I'd image watermelon and apple chewing gum to be. It's not perfect, as there's a alcholy solvent along with it.
p: Cribbing from my previous notes, I can still see it as a little buttery. The fruit fomr the nose is still there (apple and pear maybe) but it's not as sweet as I expected. It's a little hot and water didn't help as much as I thought. There's a little bit of non-cinnamon potpouri This kind of fits a profile I recognize as opening up pretty well. Check back in 9 months.