To be honest, I wouldn’t have picked up this whisky just solely based on the bottle (yes; sometimes I judge a book by its cover…). I’m sure there are those who enjoy the uniqueness of this presentation, but I’m certainly not. However, as it came as a sampler on a different bottle, I gladly dove into this.
Nose: It has lots of pear, apricot, peaches, and caramel, lemon and orange. It has a slightly grassy character overall as well. There’s a nice bit of brown sugar backdrop and vanilla too. Very fruity and clean overall. I find as I search a little deeper that there is some underlying dried fruit, prunes in particular. Malt also plays about in the backdrop. 23/30 (77%)
Taste: Slightly tart….the malt comes right through before the spices settle slightly with some black pepper before the malt comes back through again with some juiciness – likely seeming so because it is a touch tart/acidic. There is a slight backdrop of vanilla throughout as well. I find it’s quite earthy towards the end along with some minerality, which I quite appreciate. 22/30 (73%)
Finish: Finishes with earthiness and then slight malt, backed by a light fruit character and great mouthfeel. Oddly, I found after a time a slight bit of hot spice developed like cayenne pepper. Intriguing. 16.5/20 (83%)
Conclusion: Pleasant, and I wouldn’t have a problem drinking this – but I think it could go a bit deeper with flavours. I find for me that light whiskies really have to do well with their flavours and subtlety to impress me, particularly with balance and depth. This doesn’t quite go there, although it’s certainly still pleasant to drink – but there is quite a highlight for me in the surprising spice on the finish. 14.5/20 (73%)