G8.14 - Rum-soaked tea leaves

29 years old, distilled 18th June 1990, 56.4% abv, Refill Ex-Bourbon Hogshead, 164 bottles, dram price E

SMWS G8.14 - Rum-soaked tea leavesThe nose has sultanas, cinnamon and nutmeg and hints of fruit salad chews. The mouthfeel is thin with little cling. The body has rum-soaked sultanas, apple flavoured fruit chews, dried banana and hints of oak. The finish has cinnamon and nutmeg with hints of baked apples.

Water brings out thin, compat whorling that barely lingers - all absorbed by the dram very quickly! The nose gains notes of old tea chests and hints of apricot, and loses the nutmeg. The body gains sultanas (not rum-soaked this time), and hints of apricot. The finish gains raisins and sultanas and loses a little of the nutmeg.

A superb dram that sits on the edge of my spice tolerance. I want to drink it, but those building waves of spice with each sip before I added water put me off. After water, it was much better. In fact, after water, it was stunning. But if I have to add water, can it really get a top score?

One for summer mornings.

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.