Hand-selected by the Royal Mile expert purchasing team, who found it to be a stunning example of the distillery’s style. Crafted with un-peated barley in a traditional swan-neck still. After distillation in 2011, it then was aged in a first-fill bourbon cask for 11 years before being bottled in 2023 at cask strength, with no added colour or chill filtration. 1 of 235 bottles.
Appearance: White dessert wine. A substantial swirl mark clings to the glass for quite a while, before beading and morphing into a few teardrops. Many thick legs form amongst the viscous film, creating a corrugated coating.
Nose: Big on orchard fruits, confectionary sugar, pastry and custard. WOW, this is a sweet and decadent nose indeed! Apples and pears dominate the fruit element, with really concentrated aromas. The custard vanilla and mellow pastry notes are soon joined by a summary honey note. The ABV is carried very well initially and, quite against the usual, creeps in after more nosing. It never amounts to anything that interferes with the sweet smells coming from the glass, but it becomes nice and evident. Peach and some more malty notes appear quite late on in the nose too.
Palate: A lovely oily mouthfeel with an initial gentle sweetness and spice balance that works very nicely. The second sip reveals more of the icing sugar-dusted apple, similar to Sour Apple Refresher chews,, custard and some popping candy. Honey and black pepper appear after a while, along with very subtle blood-orange bitterness, lemon sherbets and those peach notes from the nose. There’s a little astringency which builds gently the more I drink, but it never amounts to anything offputting.
Finish: Medium to long. Black pepper, apple, peach, custard and honey all linger and swirl around the palate pleasingly.
Overall: Banger! It’s such a sweet, summary and friendly dram. The dessert-like flavour profile balances beautifully and delivers a dram with no real negatives where I’m concerned.