Nose (10%): Honeyed bread predominantly. some medicinal oily notes, nice dry oak at the end. 8/10
Palate (20%): Lots of honey sugars coming through. Medium full-bodied. nice dried fruits and cooked fruits and orange notes. some baking spices, and lots of Christmas cake flavors coming through. Yummy sherry cask finish notes. Not much if any peat but lots of oak heat. 17/20
Finish (10%): Very dry oaky finish compared to the sweet palate. There is a bit of a bite to this. 6/10
Overall Impression and Harmony (30%): This is an oaky whiskey for the price. Possibly too oaky for some but I like it. There's some nice complexity to this blend. honey, cooked fruit, and oak spice. There's a nice evolution as it goes through the mouth. It's not boring and one note, but it's not the craziest this ever. I suppose it is a blend but this has a lot more character than any budget scotch you'll find in the well. 24/30
Retry on Ice (25%): Quite nice actually. The oak shrinks down a little bit, making it softer and easier. the honey strays throughout. the dried fruit gets a little muted but it's still there. This is easy drinking for me. It's not too abrasive at all. 20/25
Total Ranking: 79% Legendary, Amazing, Great, Good, Fair, Average, Tolerable, Swill
Conclusion: This product has been around since 1909. It's owned by Diageo and while it doesn't get as much marketing publicity as say Johnnie Walker this is a quality whiskey with quite a few loyal followers. it's widely popular in the U.S. and in Latin America as well as some fans in Japan. I first heard about this whiskey from the anime/manga "Bartender". It's a delicious whiskey for the price. I'm curious to try the 18-year-old. Given this has so much oak I'm curious what six more years in the wood does to it. The oak makes it a bit acrid to the point where I can't see it getting much use in cocktails. I feel like a good drink would have to mute that oak character a bit which would defeat the point of using this. But as a sipping whiskey, this certainly beats out a lot of other blended whiskies at this price point. Give it a go, it's worth the money. I was one point away from calling this amazing, but it's certainly great.
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