My long tasting notes (I posted "Earned it's awards")
Similar to the chaps at M.O.M. (Cheers guys!)
My bar is temperature controlled, and UV protected. I used a stemmed (and stemless) glencairn, along with a port glass for this review-- after three 750ml bottles were eventually finished. I am mindful of humidity levels, upright storage (proper for whiskey), oxidization/rate of consumption, in-glass breathing, temperature, and clean tasting environments. I use a handwarming technique, I employ various palatting techniques and nosing positions. I never use scented or bar soap to wash my hands. I hand-wash my glasses to avoid dishwasher residue, double rinse with the whiskey itself that I'm going to pour-- unless water is desired (really good water, not all bottled water is acceptable to me). I am careful to remove the collar foil, and avoid finger contact with the cork when opening and closing. I'm mindful of what I eat and when I ate it before and after enjoying a whiskey, and I experiment with food pairings.
Nose: P.X. sherry imparts (butterscotch, toffee, meaty, nutty), coastal air, hazelnuts, broken-in leather, seaweed, toasted cereals, heather, Bunnahabhain's signature "metalic", aroma-- which on closer examination, breaks down into a combination of heather, florals and fruits. UNDERTONES OF: cornedbeef-stewed cabbage, figs, dates, Bartlett pears, cedar, oak, raw walnuts, hibiscus plant, chamomile tea, iodine, campfire smoke, molasses, cardamom, and an earthiness I can only describe as powdered cinnamon that's lost its potency from being in the spice cupboard for years.
Nose with water: doesn't transform in any unusual way, like some whiskies can. Nothing is hidden really, but the fresh fruits come out a bit clearer...butterscotch is more dominant.
Mouth-feel: overall, is somewhat drying, resinous.
Palate (entry): iodized table salt, sweet maritime freshness, fresh fruits, cereals, heather...vibrant, juicy sweet, and Salty!
Palate (middle): Hazelnuts-- big time! Heather becomes stronger, salt is still there but fades shortly into the middle. Dark spices, dried fruits, toasted malt, citrus (orange, tangerine) are the major notes here.
Palate (finish): loooong, salt returns and lingers with butterscotch and hazelnuts...heather continues on, and I get a whisp of campfire smoke, and a touch of iodine...oak is strong, but not too strong...just right.
Palate (aftertaste-- after the fireworks finish): salted roasted hazelnuts...resinous, sticky mouth-feel. Sherry imparts linger a long time and make themselves at home.
Overall: Not for diehard peat heads looking for the Laphroaig of years past. I would recommend this to anyone without such expectations-- it's an extraordinary sherried Islay that is so well balanced, I can't help but think that such perfection was made on accident (but with good intentions, of course). This is certainly one of the best 12s I've had, and a very loveable whiskey. One of only a few I can honestly say is not only flawless, but way ahead of its class. I've bought 5 bottles of this amazing single malt so far at $70 a piece. I'm interested in more of this, and G&M's Mortlach 15 as soon as I can afford it (and find it)...if Oregon would allow deliveries, I'd be a very good customer of M.O.M. (great prices and rep!)
22nd August 2015