Well, well, well…what have we here? A little unexpected, a lot awesome.
Can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a blend this much. Really. There is a delightful spryness here that I wouldn’t normally associate with the blend industry, but which helps restores my faith in the institution. (Sadly, I must confess that a recent run of less than impressive blends have somewhat soured me of late. And no…I am not a malt snob. Ok…maybe a little.)
I should also admit that, for the most part, I’m not really a fan of Richard Paterson’s whiskies. I am however, a fan of Paterson himself. The man truly knows how to put on a show, and through personality alone draws attention to his brands. No two ways about it…the guy is entertaining as hell! For those not necessarily in the know as to just who Paterson is, check this little two part video of W&M’s master blender doing what he does best: Pt 1 and Pt 2.
So…while admittedly not sold on some his other masterworks, I must admit he’s got me on the hook with this one. This is bottle number two I’m working my way through now and I have a third put aside for rainy days to come. No lie, I’m hard-pressed to think of a blended Scotch whisky I like more than this. It’s actually quite a stunner.
Biggest surprise here is in the integration. If you told me this was an older malt I’d believe you. First up…the grains are clean and pretty. Sugar cookies and soft vanilla follow. Some floral notes and a bit of cherry meets peach punch meets syrupy orange. Slight nuances of latex or old well-worn furniture polish (something very lovely and only found with age). Toasted oak, caramel/butterscotch and other surprisingly fresh orchard fruits as well.
The palate is mature, oaky and redolent of sassy fruit (peach again!). Not too far off an old ‘Rothes or something. Maybe just slightly easier on the sherry. A little raisin. Next…an aged waxy note and a slow drying sensation. Barley sings a little louder on the fade to finish.
Wow. This was not expected. Lovely and immediately endearing.
– Reviewed by: Curt
– Photo: Curt