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Reference Series I.3

(50cl, 47.1%)

Reference Series I.3

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Reference Series I.3 Bottling Note

"Caution contains e150a" reads the label. Yes, the .3 extensions to the Reference Series look at the issue of adding spirit caramel to whisky to artificially change the colour, something that is legal in the whisky industry. This allows distilleries and brands to create a whisky where the hue is consistent between batches, with the flavour supposedly remaining unaffected. A number of connoisseurs and commentators have disputed this over the years, but rather than telling you what we think, the Reference Series provides you with the tools to form your own opinion.

The only difference between Reference Series I and I.3 is the addition of e150a, so you can now taste them both to see what - if any - effect the caramel colouring has had on this particular whisky.

Tasting Note by The Chaps at Master of Malt

Nose: Custard cream biscuits shine through initially with fragrant, almost soapy malt developing - or is that the Jelly Tots from Reference Series I? There's a menthol edge, and notes of distant muscovado and cooked apples.

Palate: Sourdough and sweet barley, bread crusts and dry Sherry.

Finish: Light, fairly crisp, hints of apéritif wine, but perhaps more Lillet than the dry vermouth found in I, or are we splitting hairs now?

Overall: Clearly much darker in colour compared to Reference Series I thanks to the E150a, but what can our other senses tell us? Many of the same notes are unsurprisingly present but is there a difference? We'll leave the final judgement up to you.

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Reference Series I.3 Reviews

So, so interesting

On first nosing (and tasting) I'd have absolutely sworn blind that this was older, richer, and nicer than the straight 'I' release. It took for me to get the wife to put them both in paper-wrapped glasses to disabuse me of this. Voodoo. Shouldn't be allowed.

24th March 2016

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