Filled 4 July 2012, bottled 6 February 2015, peating level 43 ppm, matured in a 40 litre ex-bourbon cask.
Nose: A bonfire that someone’s thrown some juniper branches on over which spareribs are being grilled. When I add water the sweetness and heat disappears and I am left with cold smoke, flint and juniper berries.
Palate: Cold smoke, in contrast with the heat on the nose, lemons and herbs. No significant development when water is added.
Comments: Wow, that’s a bit of a split personality on the nose. I liked both varieties, but preferred the hot and sweet undiluted character. The palate is perfectly fine and demonstrates how much can be disguised with a bit of peat, this they could easily bottle and sell as far as I’m concerned, something I wouldn’t advice doing with the unpeated variety. Another dram? Well, if you won’t need to twist my arm.
Filled 5 October 2011, bottled 29 November 2014, unpeated spirit matured in a 40 litre ex-oloroso sherry cask.
Nose: Butterscotch, a lot of butterscotch. A little roasted grain. With water, rubber appears on the nose as well; warm car tyres. And a hint of black pepper.
Palate: Burnt rubber, garden hose and a faint whiff of toffee. it’s all less intense with water, but the impression of chewing a garden hose lingers.
Comments: WAY too much cask influence, for my palate. I’d MUCH rather have the adolescent congenners of the bourbon cask variety. It’s interesting to taste this, especially in contrast with the other, as it’s a text book example of cask influence making all the difference, but unfortunately it’s not a drinkable dram.
Filled 30 June 2012, bottled 8 January 2015, unpeated spirit matured in a 40 litre ex-bourbon cask.
Nose: Cumin and pine needles, vanilla and some congeners. A little lemon with water, more congeners and black pepper.
Palate: Black pepper, vanilla and spice, but also a little sulfur and congeners. The young age is emphasised with water, but the pepper stays, also on the finish, and I get some candied lemon.
Comments: Young, but promising. Definitely appears unfinished, not really ready for drinking, but then the point of these cask samples is not to sell drinking whisky (yet).