This whisky is made from the same stuff as the 2012 batch, except that it was actually aged in wood a few extra years (and the bottle no longer contains “2012” on it).
Nose: Dried fruits, cinnamon, and, oak, oaky caramel, and mint. The grain is rich with a bit of a flambeed banana character. Yeasty, too. A bit sour too, a bit like sour rye bread. Rich, oaky, spicy….there are a few out of place bitter notes which detract lightly as well. However, relative to the 2012 batch – more caramel and charred notes, and more rum notes. If I had to pick, I might say I ever so slightly prefer the nose on the 2012 batch, but they’re close and consistent. 26.5/30 (88%)
Taste: Tannic, and really it has pushed the oak right to the edge. Quite intense with some dark fruits and banana, mint, light arugula, and lots of rye notes – for sure. Still has that classic mouthwatering, rich taste though which makes it hard not to adore this one – it has the intenseness to be chewed, really. Sometimes, similar to some bourbons and straight whiskeys, it is a bit too sweet – but, in this case, it’s still nicely offset by the spice. This is really quite addictive stuff on the palate, and I think I like it a touch more than the 2012 batch – though, once again, they’re consistent and very close. 27/30 (90%)
Finish: A bit tannic, and bitter. Spices are there, for sure, in good quantity. Sourdough and banana, too. cinnamon. Lots of flavour amidst the tannin. And, also, oak. Green apples. 18/20 (90%)
Conclusion: I think there’s too much oak here – though it’s still very well done. One of your best buys (especially if you are a fan of rye, straight or not), and the consistency is great – simply put, a very solid whisky. It’s certainly one I always like to stock, and my tastes and preferences have been shifting more in its direction as the years plod on, I think. 18/20 (90%)