16.47 - The Steeplejack’s delight

6 years old, distilled 10th July 2013, 63.9% abv, Re-charred Hogshead, 187 bottles, dram price A

SMWS 16.47 - The Steeplejack's delightThe nose has lemon, green apple, soot and cardboard ash. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has lemon, green apple, cardboard ash, and used disposable charcoal barbeques. The finish has lemon, cardboard ash and charcoal soot.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains more lemon and green apple, hints of toffee and some barley sugar water. The smoke is diminished, but not gone. The body gains more lemon and that barley sugar water, and again the smoke is tamed slightly. Sweeter, but not lighter! The finish gains lemon and barley sugar water.

This perfectly demonstrates that sometimes it’s not the number of flavours, but what you do with them. It has almost perfect balance, leading me to think water might be a mistake. But the mistake was mine - water pumps the sweetness up without removing the peat. You CAN get better than the unwatered dram. Somehow, the water found a second, different perfect balance that leans towards sweetness.

One for summer 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.