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Average critic rating : 96.5 points
Nose: where once there was bourbon only, now we have a cross fertilisation of aromas. Certainly, once you allow it to breathe, the grape engulfs most else. It is as if the whisky has undergone a fruity polish and shine. On first pouring the oak has the ability to cause splinters; allow to settle for a while and we are talking a much softer, less senile Drop; and slowly the spices unravel… Taste: perhaps what is so astounding about this, it the way that the balance does not, even for a second, waiver under the occasional oaky onslaught: as it bites, from somewhere a grapey honeycomb flies in to the rescue offering just-so compensatory sugars which perfectly match the most delicate spices imaginable… Finish: now we edge towards a drier finale than before. The original was remarkable for not having a degree of bitterness, though it had every right to be there. Now, alas, there is. The bitterness is slightly furry and dusty, but to make amends we are treated to one very old Melton Hunt cake indeed. Balance: I tend to stick to the old adage: if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. However, I do admire what has been done here. Because it was a gamble for the right reasons, which has paid handsomely in many ways, yet has just fallen short in others. Here, they took a magnificent whisky which for no other reason than pure serendipity like Adam Adament, had awoken in another age by instead of, like our Victorian hero, being lost in a strange new world, found itself in one ready to appreciate and embrace its manifold beauty,. This whisky has thrown back for a few extra summers in oak to take it to 50 years. A bold move. And it remains a quite astonishing, for life-remembering dram of labyrinthine complexity. 52%. 198 bottles.
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