Another of the quick selling bottles from the latest batch of Whisky Exchange single casks. Imperial’s light has taken a while to truly shine – despite at one point possessing “closed distillery bargain” status for those in the know. None of that nowadays mind – Imperial is sought after and fought over and this 1995 25 year old comes from a wider batch of similar casks – all of which have been excellent thus far. Matured in a single ex-bourbon barrel and bottled at 50.1% - this had an RRP of £225 – eyes peeled.
Nose: Caramel wafers and soft toffee covered apples sit with mango juice and spit-roast pineapple. Barley water is joined by cooling mint, whilst in the background dusty aged notes of cellars and attics reinforce the age statement. Alongside – old orange liqueurs, reeds and flax. The addition of water presents green apples and lemon yogurt together with pink wafer biscuits.
Taste: Boom. Explosively fruity. A riot of orange segments, mandarin peels, peach halves, mango slices and pineapple chunks – all defined and gloriously sweet and juicy. Ex-bourbon led toffee and desiccated coconut follow with polished oak and roasted cashews. Lots going on here – preserved lemons, golden syrup and spent coffee beans all add additional broadness. Reduction offers sunflower oil and white fruits – grapes and melon segments – whilst retaining the overall brightness and expansive profile.
Finish: Long on fading fruits, walnuts, cashews and spiced lemon zest.
A fruitfest of an Imperial that possesses a delectable nose, but truly comes alive on the palate which offers a carnival of defined, vibrant fruitiness that’s only really possible from longer maturation periods. The pick of the bunch from this selection of 9 new single casks – though frankly most mid-1990s Imperials are likely going to be well worth spending some time with.
Review sample provided by The Whisky Exchange