17 years old, distilled 25th September 1997, 57.1% abv, refill ex-sherry butt, 594 bottles
The nose is full and yet finely balanced - crisp smoke, barbecue sauce, roasted chestnuts, almonds, sherry. The mouthfeel is thin with a little cling. The body has more initial sweetness - honeysuckle, sherry, cloves, liquorice, and then the smoke rolls in and the finish starts. The finish is barbecue smoke, with sherry and a touch of honeysuckle.
Water brings out thick, compact but short lived whorling. The nose is now a little wider - the smoke is bigger, and the sweet sherry notes are also more prominent. The almonds and the barbecues sauce are still the, but in a squeezed middle. The body now has less cloves and honeysuckle, more liquorice and sherry. The finish is longer, sweeter (more honeyed) and just as smokey.
A superb balance of smoke and sweetness.