A superlative example of Blair Athol, which retains all of its distinctive rich, nutty-spicy character. A rich, fruity malt from very fine ex-bodega casks, this makes a real winter warmer, with plenty of lively fruit and spice to cut through its thick, sweet nature and reveal its true complexity.
Appearance: The colour of rose-hip syrup, with bronze and magenta lights. Rich beading and texture.
Nose: At first vinous, and drying. Soon, peanut brittle and honey leap out; intensely sweet with a savoury backbone. Hints of toffee and caramel continue, with brûlée topping and baked bananas. Next a complex layer of herb and spice; tarragon and mint with warming spice. Opens out into sweet buttermint, accompanied by more nuts as well as savoury leaves and forest floor notes. A little water dries, and introduces a trace of chocolate malt.
Body: Medium-full bodied, with an oily and rich texture.
Palate: Rich, smooth, sweet and warming; fruity too. Much more savoury than the nose, with barrel char, spicy oak and liquorice. Aniseed ball heat and treacle toffee sweetness bring on lighter and sweeter notes of candied lemon zest and spiced cooking apple, before diving back into leafy herbs and warming spice. Water smoothly lifts the sweetness, with bitter-sweet fruit and oak, and sweet pepper.
Finish: Sweetly fragrant and spicy, as the sweetness of mint creams and caster sugar fades to leave a herb garden after rain and soft, oaky spice. Fresh mint, with hints of forest floor and charred oak.