An Allt-a-Bhainne from February of 2007 that’s spent 10 years in a 2nd fill ex-bourbon barrel. Young and Spritely profile.
Nose: Fresh cotton sheets and folded laundry. Floralness is firmly in control of this nose. Lavender, potpourri and cut grass provide a clean and crisp opener. In support are gentle toffee, vanilla pods and some interesting vegetal aromas – bell peppers and summer greenhouses. Wet soils, lichen and oak lurk in the background. Reduced, the nose presents much more minerality – wet slates, as well as an increasingly earthy aromas.
Taste: A slightly hostile arrival with plenty of impact, but also plenty of raw alcohol. Cotton candy and vanilla cream sweetness is mingles with ginger and intense pepperiness – both black and bell. Earthiness is increasingly emphasised with planking soils and damp cardboard, however the entire development is exceedingly quick. The addition of water unsurprisingly removes much of the bites of the alcohol, but also reduces the definition of all other flavours – a bit of a double-edged sword.
Finish: Short, quite citric, peppery and with a real stinging boozy character.
This Allt-A-Bhainne is tricky to tame. Neat, it presents some interesting aroma and flavour combinations, but it possesses a delivery and development akin to a guillotine – sharp, intense and over very quickly. I struggled to find the correct balance of dilution, which managed to reduce the aggressiveness, whilst maintaining the overall definition.
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