Quite out of the ordinary, one of the most individual whiskies you could taste and an excellent apéritif; highly complex yet wonderfully open and accessible, with a compelling nose; clean, fresh and fruity with a pleasing, oaky character that is amplified when a little water is added.
A very rare limited release of extra-mature Caledonian, this is the oldest Caledonian ever released by the original distillers, distilled in 1974 and aged in refill American Oak hogsheads.
Warm antique gold, with russet lights.
Appetising, mouth-watering. Sweet fruit chews and fresh fruits (peach, ripe melon and a spirited top-note of zesty orange peel) over a base of vanilla sponge, with a hint of fresh-planed oak. Or perhaps, simply, fruit crème-filled dark chocolates or vanilla-rich rum-and-raisin ice cream. Later, a medley of sultanas, soft, over-ripe bananas and honey on a cinnamon Danish. Water brings up the vanilla sponge and planed oak, with a mossy note that evokes dessert grapes eaten straight from a paper carton.
Immediate, with fresh acidity: lightly sweet and oily, with smooth chocolate and vanilla, aspicy warmth and a slightly bitter pungency emerging on the mid-palate. At reduced strength the texture becomes softer and the taste cooling and creamy. Burnt sugar and cocoa against a developing background of wooden pencil boxes, joined by raisins, dates, allspice and a trace of white chocolate.
Long and complex. Oily, with finely coating dry, dark chocolate and fresh oak-wood. A rising pungency offers up espresso coffee and charred notes of treacle toffee and chocolate cake. Warming with water: softer and creamier now, with aromatic sandalwood.