As the distillery just got under Brown-Forman’s yoke, we were tempted to try out this cask strength version from the success model of Glendronach, an other Speysider of the same group. Has the success recipe of No-Age-Statement whiskys been found?
Nose : We have a beautiful fruity roundness that doesn’t strike for a Benriach. We start on white and yellow fruits (apples, apricots) while we get a vanilla cream and coconut icecream gain. We’re indeed on a dessert with powdered sugar but also spices (caraway seeds, nutmeg) and a less expected woodiness. The opening brings some flowers and a mix of chocolate and well present cereals (Kinder Country like). Notes of malted yeast are here to restrain the whole of the smells.
The alcohol is globally sensible despite the fruity softness. It really needs time to calm down, even displaying mint pinches at times.
A pretty nose, not too unidimensional but that progressively tends to drift towards cereals. Too bad. Water seems to give him back a bit of liveliness, notably thanks to a stronger fruitiness (apple, pineapple).
Mouth : The texture is a bit too burning with the alcohol. The flavors struggle to be well used. We perceive a start on malt, yeast and apple (dried), while powdered sugar, apricot, vanilla and dominant spices (caraway seeds, black pepper, cinnamon) must wait the second part of the mouth. It appears drier as a whole despite a syrupy presence.
Water puts forward the quality of the texture, which became way more oily. On the aromas side, it’s not quite the same story. The apple and the powdered sugar get more discreet whereas the cereals dominate the debate during the major part of the mouth. There is also a bit of mint in the end of the line.
Finish : Rather long on black pepper followed with apples and vanilla. The aftertaste is on apples and pepper. After the dilution, the finish is very marked by the apple (yes, again), the spices and the powdered sugar up until the aftertaste. It’s not worst, despite the simplicity of the association.