I initially traded lamp made out of a cut-off bottle of Ardbeg for a bunch of samples, and this one was in the mix. I liked it, bought a bottle and split it with a couple of friends. So you people worried about this being from the bottom of the bottle - rest easy. It hasn't been for long.
Bottle 63 out of 279
0.4 (Jonquiripe corn)
The first thing that comes to mind is a pleasant freshness. Lively and fruity with plenty of apples and a bit of peppery kick. Citrus and vanilla, hints of solvent if you sniff too violently. To my nose, this is precisely what a (presumably) bourbon aged whisky should be.
Sweeter than the nose. A very slight hit of herbal spices, but then more vanilla and a big dose of orange marmalade. Behind that, lavender and some dryness. Lavender fabric softener is probably a good description. Tastes better than it sounds, though. The sweet fruitiness still dominates.
A very smooth transition from the palate to the finish, it's hard to tell when one ends and the other one starts. Oak spice, that's not very unusual for a finish. Pepper, fruit and warmth.
Lovely overall. Lots of things going on - even some surprises with solvent and sometimes almost gasoline-like notes, but just as small and random events. By and large, it's what the nose suggests. Fruity, fresh and lively. You don't want just one dram of this, as there's plenty more to be found with every sip. Perfect example of a well-aged (again, presumably) bourbon cask finished, cask strength bottled whisky. Not too much oak, and still with plenty of youthful energy and vigor. The 23 years brought complexity and a lot of flavors without disrupting the composure. A fun dram!
87 / 100