An eight-year-old single malt from an undisclosed distillery on the Orkney Islands. Matured in first-fill Bordeaux wine barriques, it was bottled at 52.6%.
Appearance: Summer honey gold (15-20). A beaded decent tide mark forms around the glass when swirled. Plenty of medium trails form and seep towards the surface. A light film clings to the glass.
Nose: Quite light on the nose given the ABV. Gentle sweet smoke along with caramelised meats and brown sugar. Waffles and maple syrup with bacon, Blueberry BBQ sauce and apple puree. Varnished wood and a more vegetal side appear in the background as well as a faint BluTak note. Hot stone (or metal?) now appears, this is a complex dram indeed, plenty to explore!
Palate: Quite dry initially, steeped dried fruits, honey and vanilla-forward. Black pepper-dusted banana and caramel, fresh from the BBQ, wrapped in foil. Oak and that smoke element are consistent with the nose, adding a nice balance to the fruitier sweet notes. The caramel and black pepper are played off against each other very well here, after the other notes fade, these two carry on into the finish.
Finish: Short to medium in length. Caramel and black pepper, along with subtle bananas and raisins linger for a time. The vegetal note sticks for a while too, rocket salad maybe?
Overall: Very nice. Love the meaty and subtle smoky notes, along with the sweet BBQ sauce and pepper. Great dram.