Watt Whisky Imperial 25yo...

Watt Whisky Imperial 25yo (53.6%): And here is the showstopper I was hinting about on Monday. It is an Imperial distilled in 1996... As most of you already know Imperial is a distillery long gone. It was in operation sporadically till 1998 but was shut down for good that year and eventually and sadly demolished in 2013 to make space for the construction of Pernod Ricard's brand new distillery Dalmunach. The whisky I have the sample of is bottled from a refill ex-Bourbon barrel when it was 25 year old yielding 214 bottles at cask strength.

Color: Yellow gold, sweet white wine color with a ring of stationary teardrops morphing into small but slow running legs

Nose: Absolutely fantastic... Don't know where to start from. I'll keep nosing for a while before taking some notes... Ok, canned peaches, plum compote and overripe strawberries. Strawberry yoghurt, shortbread biscuits and dried pineapple slices. Lemon cookies, white chocolate and vanilla whipped cream.

Palate: Even better on the palate... Strawberries, freshly sliced pineapple and lychees. Incredibly fruity like promised by the nose. And tropical, dusty and fresh... More: Oak, lemon zest and yellow grapefruit. A little chalk, white peaches and Mexican flan. Passion fruit and just a hint of cinnamon.

Finish: Medium to long with ground coriander, fresh ginger.

Overall: This whisky is the verification that refill (2nd fill) ex-Bourbon barrel (or hogshead) is the king of Scotch whisky maturation... I see no competition here. It is the only way to keep the essence of the distillate and the characteristics of the distillery while maturing the whisky throughout a long period of time without allowing the wood take over. Trust your cask, be patient and let it do its thing. No need to rack to slow down the maturation, no need for coming up with innovative finishing cask ideas, no need to marry multiple casks to round the edges and distribute them right back into single casks... It's not rocket science but it requires patience and confidence. In the end isn't it the definition of what a successful cask management is? This is an absolutely gorgeous and a shining example of that... It is 25 years old but still vibrant, spirit driven and not over-oaked by any means. A dusty, chalky and fruity goodness with yellow spices and vanilla sprinkled all over. Yes, it is pricey but totally worth it... Damn, Watt Whisky seriously hit out of the park with this one, didn't they..? Thanks to Kate and Mark Watt to make the Watt Whisky Week happen again on tire-bouchon.

Price: £225