Nose: Gentle sweetness, peat, cola, salt, lemon, vanilla, malt, and faint banana.
Palate: Creamy arrival. Honey, ginger, crème brûlée and vanilla give this dram a cream soda-like quality. Oak, peat, damp earth, cereal, chocolate, pepper and spices.
Finish: Roasted nuts, salt, big oak, cream, chocolate, and a bit of ash. The oak is drying and bitter, but the oaky character doesn’t consume the whisky. A long finish with the soft honey continuing to present itself.
Thoughts: It’s certainly more intensely oaked and ‘ashier’ than the 10. Occasionally I drink this when I want a simple peaty blast, but there’s actually subtlety to the sweetness, as well as a nice woody character. Perhaps not the most complex or sophisticated Islay offering, but it will definitely satisfy the peat-heads and big flavour guys.