Peat and sherry always works. Almost always at least. And when a dram get vetted for use in Fiddler’s Advent Calendar, you know you’re in for a treat.
A sample bottle this dark with a lovely whiff of briny smoke coming off it is a great way to close out the night, which is exactly what JP and I did some months ago.
Sulphur, shoe polish, graphite, heavy sherry, barbecue smoke, burnt grease. Roasted grain, like a dry stout. Some red fruits.
The palate has some sharpness, but nothing out of the ordinary. A bit of chili pepper, and shoe polish, and leather. Pencil shavings, some sulphur, matches, but also cherry and blackberry. Sunseed oil, bacon.
The finish is surprisingly hot, with red fruits, grilled peaches, spicy sherry. Far less sulphur, more oak. Smoke, greasy barbecues. Strangely, some menthol near the end.
Yes, there are hints of sulphur, and the whisky is better for it. I understand some people’s disdain for it, but sulphur comes in many guises, and this is a good one. It’s the hellfire and brimstone kind, instead of the boiled vegetables kind.
It’s a rich whisky, with many flavors and layers. There definite influence from the smoke, from the distillery’s location, from the cask. And it all works very, very well.
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