N: It’s a dense malt that understandably needs time. A gloriously varnished & polished dram, powerful yet controlled. Notes are on buttery-heather-honey, caramel~mocha with dried orange notes, cloves and cinnamon wood. With water it’s more fruity and woody. The sherry influence is clear with minimal peat. Not overly complex but beautiful.
T: Ooh yes, there it is – old oak. Arrives beautifully. That aged pedigree brings lots of ripe fruits, in a style so synonymous with vintage G&M bottling from the 60’s & 70’s. One big difference though is this is no slack 40%’er, this is bottled at ‘craft strength’. With water, it’s a thick, sweet, dense, woody malt which becomes so squidgy
you could almost take a bite. An hour later and the richness of this ‘vatting’ is clear. it’s calibre surges through with the spirit, ‘oaked’ to perfection in my book. In my experience, 30 years seems optimal for the HP distillate and this is a prime example. Becomes a touch oily/briny into the finish.
F: Soft and sweet, vanilla, caramel and toffee, a little more orange,… & toffee ice-cream and more heather honey. Its not a long finish but a graceful one. Some of the most beautifully behaved casks you’ll likely to find in one ‘collection’. Theres no indication of batch size but there can’t be many [if any] ‘duffers’.
C: So lets recap: beautiful, glorious, optimal, graceful,…. all true and yet uncannily it doesn’t excite me. It even becomes a tad predictable [sacrilege i know], which is fortunate though [for my wallet] because it currently carries a price tag of £550 [Oct ’16]. And to think it was £190 only two years ago, and much less a year before that. But when all is said and done, this is seriously good malt.
Scores 90 points