THIS, OUR CLASSIC 16-YEAR- OLD, HAS BEEN MATURED IN VANILLA-RICH CASKS COOPERED FROM AMERICAN WHITE OAK; STOWED AWAY IN OUR LOCH-SIDE WAREHOUSES, SLUMBERING, MATURING, COMING OF AGE...ALL THE TIME BREATHING THE INVIGORATING MARINE AIR OF THIS HEBRIDEAN ISLAND.
Character: This is the Laddie on top of his game: sleek, stylish, sinewy, sexy, and honed to perfection. The unctuous viscosity of the spirit is flawless.
Color: Chestnut, russet gold.
Nose: Sensational. One's first impression is "Wow! This is so fresh and pure I've just got to taste it", but be patient, continue to inhale, there is so much more to enjoy: the dry crispiness of the barley becomes the perfect partner for the fruits of distillation - gooseberry, pineapple, melon, pear. Stay with it and you will find the mellow sweetness of prime American oak emerging gently, bringing Brazil nut and caramel. Add to that a drift of banana cake and you are now in olfactory overdrive. But there is more! The incredible wild flower aromatics (which can only come from a spirit matured full- term on Islay) create a wondrous slipstream.
Palate: The character and warming strength of the spirit upon entry is impressive. The aromatics never told the taste buds of this level of maturity. The sweet vanilla of Ozark Mountain oak is right up front bringing the structure with that hallmark homemade toffee flavor. The luscious freshness of fruit essence on mid palate is beautiful, performing alongside the delicious barley sugar, biscuity sweetness. It is show time for sure! The fresh floral notes have merged into a wild honey flavor which together with the marine/ lemon flavors highlight an illumination of the senses.
Finish: Multi-layered, elegant and classy; its warmth, sweetness and totally natural flavors extend inexorably in to a mellow space and are totally memorable.
92 Proof Single Malt Scotch
Posted by Jason S. on 30th Oct 2012
I am fairly new to the world of single malt Scotch. I have really only tried little more than a handful, but this one easily tops all others so far.
Don't be scared by the Islay origin! It is not heavily peated at all. It has a tiny bit at the end (and maybe a little on the pallet)...but it is the honey and floral flavors that are more present in this fine offering.
I am only withholding 1 star away from a perfect 5 because I know there's a whole world of scotch out there and I have yet to try them. I could very easily give this a 5 though if I do try the rest and they don't hold up to Bruichladdich.