51.8 - Funky flowers and tropical fruits

16 years old, distilled 16th October 2001, 54.5% abv, First Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 205 bottles, dram price F

SMWS 51.8 - Funky flowers and tropical fruitsThe nose has roses, fruits of the forest, and hints of mango. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has mango, passion fruit, honeycomb and a hint of fruits of the forest and even blackcurrant towards the finish. The finish has rosewater, mango and hints of blackcurrant.

Water brings out thin, rapidly expanding whorling that settles quickly but never quite mottles. The nose gains digestive biscuit and golden syrup, and even hints of blackcurrant. It loses the much of the roses. The body gains golden syrup and more honeycomb, and more blackcurrant. The finish gains blackcurrant.

A very interesting dram that was a little too thin at first. Definitely needs water. It's hard to explain - the flavours are all there, but the experience isn't. It's like seeing an excellent play from a bad seat - you know that the cast, script and production are superb, but you're just a little too far away to get all the benefit.

A great dram for summer afternoons.

Technical score: 4/5 (Would have been 3.5 if water hadn't rescued it)

Personal preference: I'd have another dram.