Colour: Old Sauternes
One has to be careful when reviewing the more premium whiskies (and one as popular as this) because their rarity and price inevitably place a bias on your nose and palate. I, therefore, promised my self to be brutally honest and not care about who I hurt in the process.
However, this 30 year old need not have been afraid.
The nose is a beautiful combination of classic Speyside aromas complemented with a confidence that only spending 30 years in a cask can give you. It’s like standing in a large kitchen watching desserts being assembled. One pastry chef is layering caramel, butterscotch and toffee in a dish. Another is scraping vanilla pods by his side. Then there is the overflowing basket of almonds, marzipan and a bushel of green apples sitting on the floor. Finally you realize someone just dropped a couple of orange slices on a hot hot grill!
The creamy delivery carries first with it a long sliver of smooth oak lightly dusted with black pepper and cinnamon. Then burnt treacle and light traces of cocoa on the back of honeyed oils get in on the fun. Finally a touch of herbaceous mint in the mix keeps things interesting. Quite a complex palate which will need your undivided attention.
The medium oaky finish, intertwined with a pleasant after taste of fennel and aniseed, round off an extremely satisfying premium whisky experience.