15 years old, distilled 22nd July 2002, 51.2% abv, First-Fill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 278 bottles, dram price C
The nose has soy sauce, rose water and a hint of balsamic vinegar. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has rosewater, dried apples, nutmeg, (quite soft) vinegar notes and a floral hint. The finish is rosewater, nutmeg and a hint of vinegar.
Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains brandy and hints of tobacco, and loses the rosewater. The body gains tea chests and tobacco and loses the rosewater and the vinegar. The finish loses the rosewater and vinegar, and gains soy sauce and tobacco notes.
This dram has an unusual selection of flavours, and holds them together well. In particular, the flavours it loses after water are complementary, and make room for the new flavours gained. So it moves from sweet, fruity and floral to sweet, fruity and tannic - a very hard trick to pull off.
One for autumnal evenings.
Technical score: 4.5/5
Personal preference: I'd like more than one 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!