23.74 - Punchy, wacky, ashy!

12 years old, distilled 26th September 2005, 62% abv, First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 221 bottles, dram price E

SMWS 23.74 - Punchy, wacky, ashy!The nose has chutney and cheddar, with a little chalk from a bicycle puncture repair kit. The mouthfeel is thin with a little cling. The body has chutney, vinegar, and dirt tracks on a hot summer's day. Almost farmyard-like, but without the silage. The finish has the dry dusty earth and some vinegar.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles into brief mottling. The nose gains pineapple and lightly toasted bread, and loses the chutney and chalk. The body gains an unexpected cherry note and pineapple - but loses the dry, dusty earth in favour of cold ashes. The vinegar remains, slightly sharper now. The finish gains pineapple and also swaps the dusty earth for ashes.

A chimera - and therefore comfortable anywhere. If it's warm put it in a hipflask and go for a walk. But you can also have it on a summer's evening as the breeze cools, forcing you to don your whisky jacket...

Technical score: 3.5/5

Personal preference: I'd have another dram.