50.105 - Willowwood in the sun

28 years old, distilled 26th January 1990, 54.4% abv, Second Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 87 bottles, dram price H

SMWS 50.105 - Willow wood in the sunThe nose has pears, stewed apples, caramel and hints of peach. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has pears, baked apples, peach, banana, caramel and then cinnamon and star anise. The finish is stewed fruits (apples and pears) with banana and star anise. The star anise builds over time as your tongue dries, and that’s the only fault I can find with this whisky. (And others will love that, so it’s fine!)

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles into brief mottling. The nose gains peach and apricot, and loses some of the caramel note. The body gains apricot and more baked apples, and the caramel and star anise become subdued. The finish gains banana and apricot, but the star anise keeps building.

Quite the enticing nose and palate, but the spicy finish isn’t quite my style. That having been said, I’ll still happily drink it, and it’s a well integrated and interesting note. If we only go for the platonic ideals, we miss the wonders in the real world...

One for summer afternoons.

Technical score: 4.5/5

Personal preference: I’d have another dram.

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.