SMWS 35.119 - "An Alice in Wonderland dram"

16 years old, distilled 10th March 1998, 57.7% abv, first fill ex-bourbon barrel, 216 bottles

Golden syrup over camphor on the nose. The body is very sweet at first, then expands into a more substantial spiciness - cardamom, cinnamon and an echo of coffee. That provides the base for a sweet vanilla and ginger top note. The mouth-feel is thin but coating. The finish is vanilla and coffee.

With water, it whorls nicely, patterns dispersing towards the bottom of the glass and hugging its contours. The nose becomes even sweeter - the camphor is replaced by vanilla and sponge cake. The body gains spiciness - the coffee is gone, replaced by ginger notes. That continues into the finish, which now lingers a little longer.

As it stands in the glass it gets gradually creamier, heading towards a compellingly alcoholic liquid custard cream.

A fine dram for discussion, with plenty to discover. I'm not convinced it has quite the balance that I was hoping for...