The light of Nevis seems to grow every lighter with each year that passes. It’s just such a shame the distillery still doesn’t have quite enough inventory to match this with increased availability of their own bottlings. This 11 year old SMWS has spent its life maturing in a 1st fill ex-bourbon barrel.
Nose: Crisp, chiselled, and certainly citric. Lemon sherbet, lemon curd pie and scattered orange peels are joined by homemade lemonade, fizzy Haribos and a side of cream cheese and toasted oak. Simple, but delightfully invigorating. Reduction adds sponge cakes and freshly pressed laundry alongside a touch of aromatic potpourri.
Taste: More of the same for the B-side – defined, fresh and vibrantly citrus. Lemon gel and lemon sugar on pancakes combine with curds and citrus oils. A kick of chilli lifts the expression even further and combines with white pepper and ground ginger. The development heads more pastry-wards with apple tarts and baked buns alongside clean cotton sheets. Water reveals mascarpone cream alongside lemon imbued Chantilly cream.
Finish: Medium with toasted oak and sweet citrus fruits progressively souring.
Well, this is quite the treat. Despite usually favouring my Nevis with a bit of age under its belt, here we have a near crystalline, precise and defined expression which feels hewn directly from sugared lemons. Super enjoyable and well performing both neat and dilute. Indeed, it's incredibly drinkable at its natural 63.5% ABV. Very easy to recommend.