Nose (10%): The smell is a hair hot in terms of alcohol, though I am a little out of practice regarding the nosing. You do get some roasted apple notes, but only a little sweetness. My nostalgia goggles put this up pretty high because I remember batch one and loved it. I don't remember if that one was filtered or unfiltered, but this punches much more clearly as unfiltered. 8/10
Palate (20%): This must be a different apple variety than I remember. It's very pear forward, actually. It may be warm heat-wise, but not as bad as the nose suggests. I believe, within a reasonable doubt, that this is 43%. Sequential sips make it easier, which is the desired effect. I do want to keep going back for more. It washes over you and is clean and crisp. There's a nice creamy body to it. 19/20
Finish (10%): The apple flavor is gorgeous after you swallow it. It lingers for a medium-low amount of time; the dryness does stick longer than the flavor. 7/10
Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): Tasting this neat, as the first whiskey I've had in a while, is excellent. The first impression was a mild shock, but I got used to it quickly, so I chalk it up to my inexperience or taste atrophy. After a few sips, this really is addictive. Clean, to full, to clean, to full. 29/30
Retry on Ice (25%): That's still very good. Ice mutes the softer apple notes slightly but also allows me to not notice the heat of neat whiskey. The dryness stays. I like that. The finish is a hair shorter, but the dryness lingers. This is an excellent session whiskey, a great outdoor fall whiskey, 23/25
Total Ranking: 90% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill
Conclusion: Not quite as stellar as my nostalgia remembered, but also damn fine. I haven't tried neat whiskey in an evaluative sense, but this was easy to take. I'll buy this every time I see it. This needs to be in my home. I'll buy a backup bottle of this when it goes off the market again. Is it perfect? No, not today, but my tastes ebb and flow; I'll kill a bottle of this in a weekend if left unsupervised, regardless of my mood. Buy it! But leave me one on the shelf. I asked for weeks when this (batch 1) would come back. Now it's back, and I remain elated.