WSD February Featured Whisky: This is a great whisky first and foremost but it is the contrast and step-up from the straight 10 Years Old, which in itself is a fine whisky which I always end up scoring highly in competitions, is fascinating. It is the same cask make-up but it is so much more complex. Great stuff.
This is a gorgeous classic pre-1960's Speyside character at a higher strength; intense and complex yet beautifully balanced with a light touch of smoke. This is called 100 Proof because once, all whisky in Scotland were measured this old imperial way. The tradition actually started with rum when sailors wanted to make sure their rations had not been watered down, so they mixed a little spirit with gunpowder.... if it ignited, it's strength was 'proved'.
|Distillery: Without water - It has an intense sherry nose with heaps of stewed apple, pear and delightful vanilla pod aromas...delicious toasted malt aromas develop and compliment an underlying menthol edge. With water - It's fabulous, with initial hints of beeswax polish and peat smoke followed by sweeter aromas developing with ripe banana and kiwi bound together by honey.
The WSD: The nose is smoked raisins and candles followed by thin chocolate mints just out of the wrapper. (M)
|Distillery: Without water - There's cracked black pepper with juicy fresh strawberry and raspberry, hints of orange peel and milk chocolate combine with a delicate smoky edge. With water - Roll it around your palate and enjoy the sweet and salty effect with ripe banana ad blackcurrant flavours.
The WSD: The palate is rich, warm and intimate. The raisins are creamy and caramel. The smoke has receded but its still there. A little fustiness - a restaurant in an old cellar. The end of a candle lit dinner for two.(M)
|Distillery: Notice the emerging creamy milk chocolate edge with a long rich finish of lingering subtle smokiness and bonfire embers.|