Light gold in colour, looks naturally presented to me. Initial nose is creamy smooth malt with peppery peat smoke notes which get stronger over time, and vanillay bourbon notes come through. A very enjoyable experience.
A oily mouth covering beauty, smooth at its abv but certainly some spices and pepper there, and lashings of smoke intertwining with the light sweet malty Balblair character. It’s Balblair for sure, but you know it’s made great friends with a drop of Islay in the cask.
A spicy long finish that warms your chest whilst leaving your mouth menthol fresh and tingly with subtle wood notes appearing happily.
A drop of water seems to increase everything already noted, malty creaminess increases as does the smoke. The spiciness remains but the reduction in abv makes it just that touch smoother still.
The Islay cask has imparted more influence than I really expected, it’s really quite well peated, my guess around 20ppm, spicy and interesting! You might expect a 23yo dram to have calmed down a lot and be a gentle giant, however this dram still has lots of fire in its belly.
Sample purchased from Master Of Malt. Bottle £124.95.