44.112 - Spellbinding shortbread

15 years old, distilled 27th June 2003, 59.9% abv, New Oak Heavy Charred Hogshead, 294 bottles, dram price C

SMWS 44.112 - Spellbinding shortbreadThe nose has honeycomb, vanilla and hints of wax. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has honeycomb, wax, cherries, and hints of cinnamon. The finish has wax, cinnamon spice and vanilla.

Water brings out thick, compact whorling that dissipates almost immediately into brief mottling. The nose gains vanilla and cinnamon, and loses the wax. The body gains vanilla, more cinnamon, soy sauce and loses the cherries. The finish gains soy sauce and loses a little of the cinnamon spice.

A curious balance - I feared it would be too hot after water, but it actually calmed a little. It has a nice richness to it in how it combines the flavours, which is very pleasing.

One for summer evenings.

Technical score: 4.5/5

Personal preference: Just the one dram, thanks.

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.