Color: Bright yellow gold, oaked white wine color with immediate thick, oily and slow moving legs.
Nose: Well, it is peaty indeed... Oily, wet and sooty. Feels like standing on the deck of an old fishing boat and sucking all that diesel exhaust into your lungs mixed with salty sea breeze. Fuel soaked rags, sea salt and kelp. Stone fruit compote, baked apples and cinnamon. Iodine tincture and pie crust... Even just a couple drops water improves it a lot: We have oak, dry barley and oatmeal cookies now. Less peaty more doughy and grainy.
Palate: Dry with smoked almonds, sweet and salty pretzels and smoked beer. Again adding water works great: Oyster shells, milk chocolate and burnt vegetables on the grill. Cookie dough, half baked ice cream and spearmint.
Finish: Long and tingling with black pepper, cloves and chocolate tart. Eucalyptus drops.
Overall: I loved the nose especially after adding water but the palate was a little too linear. Nothing wrong with it by any means but it wasn't as playful as the nose. Maybe my expectations were tad high after the nose but nonetheless a strong finish brought everything back together in the end nicely. Its price tag of £130 might seem quite steep for a 13yo whisky from an independent bottler at first glance but if you actually compare it with the prices of much younger Port Charlottes and/or Octomores released in the last decade from the distillery it oddly justifies itself. Thanks to Kate and Mark Watt for sending me these samples without any strings attached... More to come.