A lot of alcohol in the nose, but there’s also a salty vanilla and orange with just a hint of flint. The vanilla becomes more prominent after a few breaths and a bit of caramel begins to show itself. On the palate, a sweet, salty vanilla that transitions to a citrus taste accompanied by a long bold burn. As the burning fades (and it takes a while), a bitterness of oak remains with just a hint of char. This one definitely needs some water!
With the addition of water, the flavor becomes more of spices… ginger, nutmeg and pepper. The nose starts showing some charred oak with an ever evident burn of the alcohol… that aspect doesn’t seem to let up. With more water, a distinct corn aroma appears… a sweet, syrupy kind… corn syrup, I guess. The flavor becomes more salty and sweet with an intense caramel note. The alcohol finally fades a bit quicker, but there’s a distinct bright peppery finish that displaces the bitterness that was there before. It’s still noticeable, but the balance is much better.
Here’s the description from Master of Malt:
A spicy Speyside malt distilled at Blair Athol in May 1989. It was aged for 22 years in cask 2928 before bottling at natural cask strength in March 2012.