This expression was distilled all the way back in 1974, and was matured in a first-fill bourbon barrel until November 2019, when it was bottled at 46.9% ABV. Only 194 bottles were produced.
Appearance: Honey gold/apple juice gold. A hairline swirl mark forms and quickly transforms into many short (marginally longer than teardrops) medium legs. A semi-viscous film coats the glass.
Nose: Bags of dried fruit, blackberry and a touch of black pepper spice. There’s a lovely richness and balance to the nose between the sweetness and spice, as well as the alcohol heat.
Honey, vanilla, cinnamon and butterscotch Angel Delight all greet the nose.
Sticky toffee pudding and cream all day long! It’s got an unmistakable rich dark sugary-sweet sponge cake aroma, buttery and luxurious.
Cigar leaves and leather appear after some time in the glass.
This whisky has a very pleasant nose indeed!
Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel. For a 45yo I’d have expected a more buttery delivery. An odd first set of flavours, one is fairly unpleasant, but I can’t place the exact flavour that causes it.
Diluted ashy tropical fruits, cigar leaves again, a touch of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, some tannin oaky drying.
A touch of astringency seeps into the palate, along with dry white wine, some white pepper heat and a touch of dying bonfire smoke.
Not particularly complex or deep, a tad one-dimensional.
Finish: Medium in length. The tropical fruits, pepper and smoke linger the longest. The drying also stubbornly holds on to the throat and back of the tongue.
Overall: It’s ‘OK’ but, for a 45-year-old, I expect more. The depth and richness that the nose promised never emerge on the palate. The balance is also a bit too skewed towards the oaky astringent side and could do with more sweetness to counteract the drying effect.