This is completely unknow territory for me as I know nothing about this distillery other than its in Speyside. I want to do my usual of the completely blank page tasting so I’ll get into it now. The nose is a little alcohol-only to begin, but as it warms, strong fruit flavours come through. Indeed, it’s huge on fruit with no hint of spice now but well-balanced and suggesting that it could be smooth and creamy. There’s caramel and vanilla, so I’m thinking bourbon casks and then sherry, but I could be wrong (again!). Fruit-wise, I get some banana in at the back of dark fruits. There is light citrus, but as with the banana, it’s behind the dark fruit. There’s a candy/sweet-like presence here, like a fruit bonbon that might have the popping candy in it. Very sugary. It actually reminds me in some ways of an older Bowmore, but without the peat. Very impressive so far.
On further attempts, there's slightly milky chocolate (back to Bowmore) with the fruit more restrained this time. Like a spiced chocolate cake sometimes.
Oh, very good. Fruit is still the main element here. An envelopment of fruit that is like eating a blended fruit mix of peach with a few raspberries thrown in, but not harsh or piercing, with the sugar and acidity turned down. There is a wee bit of spice with the 46% abv, but it works with this dram. So far, one of the best Speysides I’ve tasted. There is a return of caramel and vanilla soft and in at the back, but this is good. Now honey coming through, that could be orange blossom. A definite spice hit on subsequent goes and the fruit shares top billing with the spice thereafter. This is excellent though. Fruit still strong on subsequent tastings with the spice still very apparent. A real winter warmer.
The honey remains and there is virtually no drying here at all. I get the aftertaste of honey still, much later, that could be from buckwheat, but this is good. The taste of the dram actually remains overall with the spice that came only in the taste until now reminiscent of after eating cloves. I’ve just read the flavour description and I don’t get marzipan, or cherries (maybe?) but I agree with the spice and warm finish. Truly a star of Speyside. Nothing much to add on further sampling - I still don't get marzipan but maybe a touch of the cherries that were mentioned in the official tasting notes. This remains excellent in my estimation.
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