6.42 - A sunshine state of mind

11 years old, distilled 28th January 2009, 57.0% abv, Second Fill Ex-Bourbon Barrel, 248 bottles, dram price B

SMWS 6.42 - A sunshine state of mindThe nose has an initial herbal note, then peppermint followed by desiccated apple and coconut with a little peach. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has pineapple rings, green apples, peaches, peppermint and hints of ginger. The finish has ginger, cloves and peppermint.

Water brings out tight, thin whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains “meadow fresh” fabric conditioner, heather honey and hints of pine. The body gains more peach, green apples and floral notes. The finish loses the cloves and the ginger is diminished, with peaches and green apple coming in.

This dram is a magic trick. It is the ultimate in “sleight of cask”. If you put the watered and unwatered drams next to each other, few would say they were the same whisky. Like spice? Don’t add water. Like fruit? Add water. The change will amaze you no matter which you prefer. The only problem I now have is how to score it. One technical score, but two preferences seems fairest...

One for winter mornings unwatered, or summer afternoons after water.

Technical score: 4/5

Personal preference: Just the one dram, thanks (unwatered)/I’d like a bottle (with water)

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.