I can only apologise for how long I’ve had these kindly donated official samples!
They have been very well picked.
By the way my new year’s resolution is to write as little as possible in the intro to my whisky reviews. Personally, I now scroll through them to get to the tasting notes so I’m giving up the back story for now (not that I really got into having one). It’s just whisky.
Nose - Gentle, damp but with dusty, toffee depth and a really beautiful cask and wood to it. Every year is well represented here, it smells like an OB. Ripe, to the point of greasy mango, some black forest and a little pineapple. Lovely.
Body - Gentle again, but there's an insistent burnt splint and hot radiator note here, and a touch of heat. Some sourness to that mango.
Finish - Slightly plasticky but robust woods and sugar are well balanced against each other, with a really deep sweetness at the end and more overripe tropical fruit.
A really, really classy nose here with quite a lot of first fill bourbon character to the delivery. Absolutely delicious though, I quite like the burnt note in the delivery but the intense sweetness and that sour note in the delivery throws it a little.
Nose - Perfect young Caol Ila (I will assume) - crushed shells, lemon and ozone, that fresh funk of cuttlefish bone - really dusty, malty and invigorating. Lemon and buttercream icing on vanilla sponge. More mineral with water, cold wet glass.
Body - More vanilla, intensely but very perfectly peated and drifting into slightly rotten and medicinal. Fresher with water, green apple skin and a touch of clove.
Finish - Coffee, biscuit, lemon tart. Very high cocoa dark chocolate with water.
Perfect young Islay. Well recommended.
Nose - Also very "pure" to the distillery, an almost creamy edge to a fresh, cereal peat here. Lemon curd, laurel leaves and blackcurrant jam, women's perfume and Victoria sponge. Rich, but vibrant and fresh. A touch of petrol with water. Delicious.
Body - Extraordinarily fruity (raspberries, gooseberry fool), but then spray deodorant and chocolate sponge. Unacceptably astringent with water.
Finish - Long, intensely drying, lots of bitter wood but it works perfectly.
A bruiser, and a very compelling one. I liked this more than the Caol Ila at first but it was more tiring, however the nose on this is extremely classy.