10.166 - It’s cocktail thyme

11 years old, distilled 6th October 2006, 61.8% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 188 bottles, dram price C

SMWS 10.166 - It's cocktail thymeThe nose has pineapple, lemon, lime - not at all what I expected. (My nose hunts for smoke and finds nothing.) The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has coconut, pineapple, lime and then lemon with a little spirituous heat. The finish has lemon, lime and pineapple with hints of thyme.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that quickly settles into brief mottling. The nose gains fresh wood sap and hints of herb gardens, with the fruits somewhat diminished. The body gains herbal notes - thyme, tarragon, oregano, sage - and the fruits are a little more silent, with the pineapple the most dominant. The finish gains thyme, oregano and loses the lime.

Not what I expected, but it packs in a lot of flavour without losing its balance. A superb dram for summer.

One for summer mornings watching cricket.

Technical score: 4.5/5

Personal preference: I’d like a bottle.

This whisky was provided by the SMWS in a preview session - thanks to them for that. Full editorial control has been retained in the tasting process.