Inchmurrin that’s spent 12 years in a 1st fill ex-bourbon hogshead before being re-racked into 1st fill Vosges oak. Vosges comes from the forest of the same name located West of Alcace. Tight-grained and popular with French wine-makers since the early 1980’s. View on SMWS
Nose: Immediate oakiness – ‘green’ sappy wood, oak chips, sawdust and lollypop sticks. This sits on a bed of grainy cereals (there’s something akin to triple distilled Irish whiskey here), oatmeal and popcorn with vanilla pods, and French crepes. It’s nearly all on the cask and not the spirit. Water improves things greatly – there’s creaminess from yoghurt and whipped cream alongside toasted bread, yeastiness and charred cask ends.
Taste: Wood-fest alert. Tannic oak from freshly saw 2x4, garden fencing and park benches. Graininess pokes through with corn, cereals and waffle batter, whilst green apples and lemon peels are joined by overt rawness in the form of acetone. Reduction once again is a godsend – sunflowers, lemonbalm, Chantilly cream – an entirely different whisky.
Finish: Medium with heady clove spicing, dry and tannic oak.
Whilst water gives this Inchmurrin a pleasant and fresh creaminess, it’s fair to say that in its natural form I did not get on with this at all. The combination of 1st fill + Vosges has resulted in an incredible amount of cask influence to a point where I felt like I was tasting dry, astringent, tannic oak juice. Somewhat hard to score given the dramatic improvement once diluted, but the initial composition is sadly way off my radar.