This 18 yo dram is replacing the 17 year old which I reviewed a long time ago (my notes are here). Bottled at a standard 43%, It’s priced at around £70.
Nose: Starts with some wood, old wood furniture, lacquer, yet also fruity, with some red fruit tart, orange peel, sugar, and also a bit of vanilla goodness. rather interesting. some spices too : ginger and Bergamot(reminds me of earl grey).
Palate: Lovely mouth feel over here, with some fruit, and dry wood, spices. Also spicy with quite a bit of pepper and ginger too. Wood is rather dominant here, and careful tasting reveals some dark chocolate in addition to the orange peel.
Finish: Very dry, with dark bitter chocolate, and a hint of gunpowder.
All in all a very good dram, and quite different than the 17 yo it replaces, seems this one is mostly vatted from ex-bourbon casks rather than the big sherry effect I remember from the old 17 yo. With all that said, I still prefer the Cask strength expression to this one. It’s cheaper than the 18 yo and also delivers.