44.118 - Get your castanets clacking

16 years old, distilled 6th November 2002, 58.0% abv, First Fill Ex-Pedro Ximenez Hogshead, 253 bottles, dram price D

SMWS 44.118 - Get your castanets clackingThe nose has apricot, old well-cared for leather, and hints of orange and tobacco pouches. Quite subdued. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has apricot, orange, honey, leather tobacco pouches and hints of dark chocolate and cinnamon. The finish has leather tobacco pouches, dark chocolate, cinnamon and a hint of orange.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that didn’t even mottle. The nose gains more tobacco and orange notes, and the apricot is subdued. The body gains more fruit - apple and pineapple, with mixed nuts and hints of pear and honey. The dark chocolate and cinnamon are diminished. The finish gains more tobacco and some pineapple, and loses the cinnamon.

A very nice sherry finish - sorry, second maturation - that develops very well with water.

One for autumn afternoons.

Technical score: 4/5

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.