66.146 - Sensational sweet smoky ‘noble rot’

21 years old, distilled 23rd October 1997, 51.9% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 244 bottles, dram price E

SMWS 66.146 - Sensational sweet smoky ‘noble rot’The nose has fruit salad (strawberries, apples, pears), lemon, honey and a little hint of smokey toffee. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has honey, apples, pears and then smokey toffee and a hint of acrid smoke. The finish is acrid smoke and green apples.

Water brings out thin, short-lived whorling that dissipates quickly without mottling. The nose gains soft smoke - burning wood. The body gains more fruit - green apples and lemon - and loses the acrid smoke. The finish gains more smoke (no longer acrid) and some honeyed notes.

A very good example of a distillery we usually see as a much younger expression, but it aged well. The smoke isn’t evident at first, but does arrive eventually.

One for autumn evenings.

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.