Matured in a combination of refill bourbon barrels and refill American oak hogsheads before being married for a six-month finish in first-fill oloroso sherry casks.
Appearance: Honey gold/apple juice. A hairline beaded swirl mark and corrugated viscous film of many medium trails. After a short while, the beads morph into teardrops.
Nose: A nice balance of that sweet funk and a vegetal dry grass note hit first. There’s also gentle eucalyptus creating a cooling quality.
For me, it noses higher than 46%, if I didn’t know, I’d guess more like 50-53%, which I like.
Some berry sweetness comes into play after a short while, along with red apple and subtle pear.
After the dram has matured in the glass for a time, a Blu Tak note emerges.
Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel and immediately spiced honey sweetness.
There’s quite a sharp berry element now, coupled with black pepper and a mild chilli tingle. A little drying in the throat for a short while.
Again, the ABV is nice and noticeable, not as much as on the nose, but still doing its thing.
A more creamy vanilla note appears now, balancing out that sharpness.
Finish: Fairly short, the berries and the creamy note last longest. Right at the end there’s the chilli tingle briefly.
Overall: It’s a nice balance between berry sweetness/sharpness, vegetal notes and, on the palate, spices.
I preferred the nose to the palate but I reckon a bottle would be a whole different beast than a sample, and I’m sure would open up and evolve.
I can’t justify the cost though. £265 is a big price tag and would require a truly sublime whisky for me to even consider it. This is very nice, but not sublime.
I also think that the fact that GS already have such a strong range, I am happy to stick with Victoriana and the festival releases, I could purchase 4 bottles of either and still have change from the price of this bottle.
The above may sound negative, but it’s more about my personal perception of value than the liquid itself.