135.16 - Flavoursome and fabulous

14 years old, distilled 18th March 2006, 54.1% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 267 bottles, dram price B

SMWS 135.16 - Flavoursome and fabulousThe nose has cigar smoke, umami, honey and seafood barbecues. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has umami, honey, meat fats, seafood - and much less smoke. The finish has a return of the cigar smoke, and some honey and kiwi fruit.

Water brings out thick, rapidly expanding whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains floral notes - honeysuckle? - and loses the seafood barbecues. The body gains more honey and some hard pear, then tarragon. The finish gains more cigar smoke and some floral notes.

A chimera - unexpected floral notes after water, and a truly odd set of flavours - yet it works. Crisp, sweet, and very drinkable, yet always smokey. I found it to be an unexpected delight.

One for summer evenings.

Technical score: 4/5

Personal preference: I’d have another dram.

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.