All casks are held full term, providing the time and space for the subtle strength of European oak to temper the cultured fruit notes of classic French viniculture. Peated to 208ppm it is released at five years old when the massive phenols so characteristic of this extraordinary single malt are at their most vital. This is a spirit with a texture and depth of flavour that is simply inimitable.
Nose: Golden syrup, smoke and red berry fruits to begin. The gentle smoke weaves through poached pear and apple pie from the distillation with the ripe fruits from the cask, red berries peach and apricot. As you inhale deeper, delicate floral notes unclouded by the smoke are released heather, lilies and orange blossom.
Palate: strong sweetness mix of peat, fruits and red wine, quickly followed by smoke and ash. then a quick cut to wine tannins and then they all mix together. well crafted! With some water: more peat and cereal, more drying and less wine/fruits.
Finish: LAs lemon zest, red fruit and vanilla oak fades away the deep smoke lingers, a potent reminder of the strength and character of Islay.
Overall: The extraordinary persistence of some previous editions is less obvious, but more-so than others, this deserves a warning label: Not only amazingly complex, but also dangerously easy to drink, testimony to the impeccable balance and sheer quality of young spirit on offer here.