For so many, this is the whisky that first attracts them. Often, red label is the first whisky experience, but this one is a cut above. For me, it was the first whisky in which I smelled the beauty of smoky peat, and I would often take my half bottle out of my cupboard and just smell it – not even pour any – but just take off the cap and give it a sniff. This, along with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, were really the two whiskies that started my love of whisky.
This iconic blend is certainly worth a try, if you haven’t yet…a 12 year old which is blended from roughly 40 whiskies.
Nose: smoke, apples, medium peat, sweet barley, pear, dried fruit, slight vanilla, complex – can really sniff for quite some time. A bit of oak and sherry…Great! 28/30 (93%)
Taste: hit of peat at beginning, a bit fruity but not too sweet…there’s sweet barley which finishes with warm pepper and peat. Warms a bit at the finish, and is almost a bit bitter. It is intriguing because it is complex. 27/30 (90%)
Finish: medium finish with a smoky aftertaste with lingering smoky sweetness. It fades for a bit, and stays in the mouth a while. Quite a deep finish, in fact – there’s some depth to the flavour. You can chew it. 17.5/20 (88%)
Conclusion: I will always like this. This was the first scotch which really just opened my eyes. Well constructed and complex…16.5/20 (83%)
Overall Score: 89/100