80.35 - Ankle Biter

9 years old, distilled 16th January 2012, 59.1% abv, First Fill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 317 bottles, dram price A

SMWS 80.35 - Ankle BiterThe nose has marshmallows, peach, apricot, and hints of old bark. The mouthfeel is thin with no cling. The body has peach, apricot, lemon, then moves towards fresh oak and hints of rich tea biscuits. The finish has peach, apricot, lemon and new (unvarnished) oak furniture.

Water brings out tight, thin whorling that settles quickly into brief mottling. The nose gains old bark and hints of damp cardboard, and loses the peaches and apricot. The body gains hints of spearmint (tic tacs?) and loses the peach and apricot - but the lemon remains. The finish gains spearmint and loses the peach and apricot.

A remarkably refreshing dram that changed with water without disappointing.

One for hot afternoons in July, in the garden.

Technical score: 4.5/5
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.