An unspecified decade old Highlander drawn from a single ex-bourbon hogshead. Bottled at 58.4% ABV and available for £79.95 from The Whisky Exchange.
Nose: Immediately expressive with gingerbread men, cola cubes and lashings of creamy toffee. Latte and ground coffee beans push through whilst golden sugar and brown bread is joined by a combo of pepper and cinnamon alongside a puff of background smoke. Reduction reveals coastalness alongside fudge, barley water, aniseed and heady cardamom.
Taste: Zingy stuff. Preserved lemons, orange peels and jelly baby sweetness sit alongside ginger beer and liquorice. Charred staves and caramelised sugars develop alongside persistent peppery spice, whilst burnt toffee is livened by back-palate lemon mint. The addition of water adds a soft, syrupy arrival with lemons and gooseberries together with Love Heart candy.
Finish: Medium with lemon cough drops, peppermint, pepper and char.
Communicative, impactful and though-provoking throughout - much more so than the pale hue and decade of maturation implies alone. This is simply good distillate drawn from a well selected cask.