The color is a pale yellow which is light for an 18-year-old. Very fruit forward on the nose with banana, papaya, strawberries & cream with a light maltiness running through. Vanilla bean, macadamia nut and lemon curd round things out. Subtle oak with light spice, a drop of water adds a hint of wood smoke. Balanced & beautiful, superb.
On the palate, more papaya, spice and citrus. A backbone of vanilla with light notes of cacao and butter balanced with flaky pastry. Blossoms with water into herbacious elements, mint, sage, arugula. Delicious, again balanced just right, between tropical fruit, citrus and spice.
A long finish, dryness with lemon pepper, walnut skins and toasted oak. Exceptional example of single malt in its purest Speyside style.
"the hardest decision to make here: full marks or not. Actually, no: an even harder decision is trying to work out the leading forces behind this extraordinary nose. This is so in tune and well balanced it is impossible to nail exactly what leads and which follows. Instead, one is left mesmerised by the incredible brittleness of the barley, which seems to snap if you sniff slightly too hard; the sugars at once delicate and fruity yet with the crafted sharpness of a newly forged sword. And those tannins, somehow caught up in the overall firmness, the friability of it all. Has to be the essential Speyside nose..."
"oh wow! When the barley does arrive this beautifully manicured, not a malty molecule out of place? The sugars are as clipped as a 1940's English actor's enunciation, and probably more precise. From somewhere light oils ooze to the surface to ensure some velvet caresses the sword. The oak builds up some steam, but the tannins never once outpoint the sugars and by the mid-ground, when a little cocoa can be detected, honours are even..., so complex it was on about the fifth go I realised just what a vital role those big early spices play;"
"the firmness here is so complete, that I have only tasted whisky like this in commercially bottled form in pure Irish Pot still and rye, though here without the same intensity of spice you find in either. That said, the spices teasingly impact all the same..."
"the most crystalline, technically sublime Speysider I have tasted in a very long time... I didn't expect to find a better distillery bottled Glen Grant than their superlative 10-year old, I was wrong..."
Jim Murray Whiskey Bible - 97