Nose: What the deuce? Some kind of trick, surely. This smells overwhelmingly, potently, of delicious, freshly squeezed apple juice. Copella Apple Juice to be precise. The Bourbon cask has clearly had some influence here. Given time in the glass, there is a development of very subtle peat, which complements without ever being intrusive. A touch of cinnamon and brown sugar to go with the apple. Lovely Stuff.
Palate: Following an initial hit of mid-80’s tuck-shop sweetness (Refreshers of both sorts – chewy and chalky), the peat is immediately apparent here. Becomes much more savoury than the nose and initial palate would suggest. Initial short-crust pastry notes (buttery, too) are fleeting, giving way to caramelised bananas, and a touch of Nasturtium leaf. Becomes more grown-up than the nose hinted. The best of both worlds?
Finish: Herbaceous. Mint, and parsley give way to the seam of peat, which given time becomes more menthol than phenol. Hints (but only hints) of bitumen, and ash meld into one delicious, fruity, gristy, meaty ‘ball’.
Overall: This whisky has got that rare ‘x-factor’. It starts sweet as you like on the nose, but the palate and finish progress beyond the simplicity that can sometimes be implicit with that term, and meld together into a seamless experience of mouth-filling flavour. Nothing is missing here, everything is balanced. Great Whisky.