After the 16 years old Alex enjoyed, here is the 12 years old non-chill-filtered. 4 years younger but 5% more for this official alternative to the classical range (understand that you can find in supermarkets)…
Nose : On the opening, we go on a monolithic dram filled with milky caramel. Thankfully, a long airing gives it (a lot) more diversity. We find a bit of orange jam, some milky coffee, marinated cherries and some cinnamon. We also recognize a bit of lightly honeyed brioche and some apples. Finally, we also have a smell that brings us inside the woods : pine needles, fern, humid soil (without acridness). Of course it ain’t a firework but rather a malt which stays focused and melted. A nice surprise on the nose.
Mouth : The texture is rich even if the alcohol appears a little. We find again the orange jam, the honeyed brioche both coming with milky caramel and, mostly, dark chocolate. We also have cereals with dried fruits (muesli, with apricot and pineapple mainly). The second part of the mouth gets on the cinnamon, clove, paprika, bitter orange, brioche but also fern all while going on quite notable star anise notes. A bitterness then unfolds with gentian and dried leaves tones. We have a beautiful complexity with the cereals/chocolate serving as common thread. It is very pleasant thanks to those 48% that make a difference on the sensation in mouth. We’ll simply regret that the flavors have trouble to untie themselves at times.
Finish : Average but persistent, it lingers on fresher notes giving a light finish while oranges, apples and chocolate bring a sweeter touch. The aftertaste is on dry apricot and muesly, but also woods, the foregoing spices and green tea.