Nose: Immense pronounced toffee and creamy fudge are joined by burnt pan sugars and wild honey. Waxiness and resinousness are derived from beehives and tree sap, whilst log fire ashes and cold kitchen hearths add a smoked mineral edge. A stunning nose – I could sit with this for hours. The addition of water adds creamy apricot yoghurt and gooseberries – but it diminishes the wonderful combination of burnt toffee and spent fireplace.
Taste: Viscous, oily and full-bodied. The arrival delivers sweetness vs. savouriness – orange preserves, lemon oils and pan sugars alongside buttered toast, triple-cooked chips. Then, medicinalness from antiseptic cream, coal dust and deep fat fryer oils come to the fore, before heading back towards saccharinity with golden syrup and hard candy sweets. All highly effective. Reduction softens thing up, losing the more industrious flavours and offering grapes, gooseberries and jelly sweets as well as some more cask-forward wood and char.
Finish: Medium, lime-forward with sooty minerality.
Let’s be clear, the undiluted nose on this Inchmurrin is fantastic. But, similarly to the impressive palate, neither responds positively to dilution. Go at this at its original strength of 65.1% and I guarantee a wild joy ride of an experience – take the edge off, and things just seem to lose precision and the specific aroma and flavour qualities which make this expression really stand out. Nevertheless certainly recommended – just keep your high strength skates on.
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