Gordon & MacPhail
Refill Sherry Butts and a Refill Sherry Hogshead
The nose starts off with subtle sherry flavours, nicely mixed with dried apricots, tangerines and red apples. Gentle spices emerge with oak, cinnamon and caramelised ginger, followed by vanilla, a whiff of dark chocolate, and faint smoke in the back.
Sweet and fruity on the palate with vanilla, dried apricots and a touch of pink grapefruit. This is immediately complemented with a bold spiciness of oak, black pepper, cinnamon, candied ginger and aniseed. Lingering notes of hazelnut and cocoa towards the finish. Nicely mouthfilling.
The finish shows good length with a warming and dry spiciness of oak and pepper, followed by slightly bitter grapefruit peel on the tail.
Fresher on the nose by adding a few drops of water. Fruity with strawberries and red currant, followed by spiced oak and aniseed in the back. Very fruity on the palate with red currant and brambles and a creamy sweetness of vanilla and blossom honey. The bold spiciness is significantly tamed. The finish is medium long, slightly warm and creamy with prickling oak in the back.
An attractive example of this great ignored Speyside distillery. Beautifully rounded, characterful, and well-balanced. Juicy fruit and rich spice give a perfect level of attitude to this dram with a pretty long and enjoyable finish. Nicely complex and very tasty. Works well with a few drops of water bringing the lovely fruitiness to the fore.
I thank Gordon & MacPhail for the sample and the photograph (displaying the bottling of 2015)!