Aged in American oak, Pedro Ximénez and Oloroso casks.
Appearance: Mahogony with an auburn hue, really dark and rich in appearance. A thin coating and hairline swirl mark form when agitated. Many slow forming thin to medium legs form.
Nose: Quite light on the ethanol. Sweet bourbon aromas burst from the glass. Caramel, cherry, some cut grass, Black Forest Gateau and butterscotch. It’s actually more like a premium bourbon in smell than a traditional whisky, to me?!
There is a hint of dark fruits and a touch of Christmas spices. For an 18yo I’d like a slightly more robust and weighty nose. What’s there is very pleasant, but I feel it could be ‘more there’.
Palate: A nice viscous mouthfeel. very heavy on the black pepper initially, overly so for me. Once the pepper has subsided there’s a sharp fruity note and some dryness. Wood notes underpin all that’s going on so far.
There are polar flavours going on but I don’t feel that they marry particularly well, they are definitely separate. Some blood orange bitterness presents as the glass matures, along with liquorice.
It does get more pleasant as you drink, and the flavours merge more and more (or is that just what happens with any whisky? hehe). More leathery and earthy notes appear late on in the palate.
Finish: Medium in length. Light spices and the blood orange bitterness. There’s a touch of sweetness but not enough to balance.
Overall: For me, this isn’t a whisky I would buy, especially at £90. I appreciate that some might really enjoy this but for me, a whisky of this pedigree and age statement should offer a lot more.