Continuing from part 1...
7.83 - Fresh, airy and sherbety
19 years old, distilled 20th May 1993, 52.1% abv, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
A very light nose which reminds me of lemon scented and "grass fresh" washing powder. The body is similarly light and clean, with lots of lemon and vanilla. The finish unsurprisingly full of vanilla.
After water, the nose gains some slight cereal, perhaps oats. The body has hints of pineapple and vanilla, and the finish is a surprisingly full hit of vanilla and apple.
A superb dram for a summer's day whilst watching a game of cricket.
35.79 - Calming, warming and comforting
28 years old, distilled 22nd December 1983, 57.7% abv, refill ex-sherry butt
The nose betrays the cask immediately - sweet and full of citrus fruits, with a little bit of fudge and oak. The body is sumptuous, with nectarines and geraniums floating over stewed apples and slight oak spices. The finish is sweet, with a return to nectarines and wood spices.
With water the nose becomes woodier, camphor wood added to the sweet fruits. The body moves towards walnut but retains the previous flavours. The finish gains wood notes, but still holds together the sweet citrus notes with it.
An elegant and interesting dram that provokes lively conversation about its flavours. Drink it with friends.
3.198 - Smoker’s tooth powder and dentists’ chairs
14 years old, distilled 25th September 1997, 57.0% abv, refill ex-sherry butt
Tar, coal dust, lavender are on the nose. The body is as smoky as you’d expect, with hints of TCP and the sterilisation mouthwash from a dentists’ visit.
With water, the nose gains cola bottle sweets and the body gains oranges and honey roasted ham. The finish is much sweeter - gaining perhaps a touch liquorice.
A sweet dram to cheer you up on a miserable autumnal afternoon.
53.184 - Fairground on the beach
19 years old, distilled 12th July 1993, 60.4% abv, refill ex-sherry butt
The nose has cinder toffee and charcoal on the nose, along with a sweet note - lemon? The body has chocolate, cardamom, and of course smoke. The finish is, oddly enough, smoky.
After water the nose becomes fruitier, with green apples and pineapple. There is also some caramel. The body is smooth and sweet, with tobacco and ginger alongside lemon-scented clothing conditioner and buckets of smoke. The finish is smoke and hints of lemon.
A pleasing and unexpectedly sweet Islay, perhaps for a summer’s evening.
29.130 - A chimney sweep smoking a cigar
19 years old, distilled 4th May 1993, 52.1% abv, refill ex-bourbon hogshead
A classic Islay nose - smoke and TCP. The body has vanilla, smoke, and germoline. The finish is a massive sweet smoke hit.
After water, the vanilla comes into the nose. The body has gains a little sweetie fizziness, like refreshers. The finish is a nice balance of smoke and vanilla.
A superb traditional Islay.
R3.5 - Marmite XO
11 years old, distilled 1st January 2002, 74.8% abv, refill ex-butt
A huge nose, full of coastal notes and burnt sugar. The body is much less aggressive than you’d expect at this strength - salted caramels. The finish is a hot jet of sweetness erupting through the esophagus.
After water, the nose gets a little duller - it reminds me of cardboard! The body is still caramel, but has lost the coastal notes. The finish remains rather like jet backwash that has somehow been sweetened...
I might not be the greatest rum drinker, but this one is far more approachable than I’d first suspected - very pleasant.