139.1 - Chomping a herbal cigar

No age statement, 59.2% abv, First Fill Barrique STR, 171 bottles, dram price H

SMWS 139.1 - Chomping a herbal cigarThe nose has demerara rum, treacle, fruits of the forest and fresh oak, and old leather tobacco pouches. The mouthfeel is thin with a little cling. The body has blackberries, fruits of the forest, toffee and fresh oak. The finish has blackberries and fresh oak, with a hint of wood spices.

Water brings out thick, rapidly expanding whorling that mottles briefly before dissipating. The nose gains herb gardens and loses the rum and treacle notes, but retains the fruitiness. The body gains herbs (tarragon, thyme) and more toffee - perhaps even some treacle - but loses the blackberries. The finish gains toffee, treacle and more wood spice.

The cask did a great job here, really working well with the spirit. It’s rich, almost unctuous, and has plenty of flavours - but the whisky remains very nicely balanced despite being forceful in delivery.

One for autumn evenings.

Technical score: 4.5/5

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.