Hooray, Chairman MAO reviewed this same bottle! He gave it 85 points, so what will I think? If I dare to disagree, will that make me part of the oppressive, capitalist superstructure of commodified bourgeoisie aporia? And Serge Valentin, my spirits god, gave it 83 points, finding the spice and oak to be a bit much.
This one is bottled by Malts of Scotland, which as I've said many times, is the bee's knees of indie bottlers. And Van Zuylen, the retailer that co-bottled this, is fantastic, makes great selections, and has always been wonderful with their customer service (shoutout to Rob, who is a total gentleman and had been so wonderful to me).
Big citrus on the nose, almost like it's peated. And it sure as hell tastes peated, is it? (Brief interlude to check on Whiskybase...nope, not peated). OK, fine, we'll say it's got pepper and herbal notes so that I can save face here
This is nifty stuff, like a great batch of Clynelish: heavy cinnamon spice, some citrus (lemons for sure) and yes, that peaty note that apparently doesn't actually exist but it does, damn it. Call it rosemary and basil if you must, but it comes on strong and doesn't relent in the finish.
If you gravitate toward sweet, malty malts, this one isn't for you: it's just plaint interesting. You don't see these kinds of flavors too often. It's just really interesting, with new notes coming up on every sip. Is it oaky? Sure, but I come from the school of bourbon, and I can handle it just fine.
87 pts/B+. Totally unlike any other malts. Perplexing, off-the-wall, challenging, but addictive. I wish I had a full bottle. And while I feel odd about disagreeing with Serge, especially by so many points, but I dig this one. A polarizing malt, but I'm into it.