16.40 - Coffee kisses in a smoky bothy

9 years old, distilled 16th December 2009, 61.1% abv, New Oak Heavy Charred Hogshead, 292 bottles, dram price B

SMWS 16.40 - Coffee kisses in a smoky bothyThe nose has cinder toffee, sultanas, fresh oak and patent leather. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has toffee, oak workbenches, patent leather. The finish has toffee, sultanas and leather with a little soft smoke.

Water brings out thick, rapidly expanding whorling that settles into brief mottling. The nose gains more toffee, bourbon biscuits, and loses the patent leather. The body gains coffee notes and crisp wood smoke, but loses the patent leather. The finish gains more smoke and loses the toffee.

A very interesting dram - smoke, but not the usual Islay and Island. The speyside character is evident, and the dram is all the better for it. I’m not sure that this combination would work with Islay smoke...

One for winter afternoons.

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.