Glengoyne Cask Strength, Batch No. 5, 59.1% ABV

Un-chill filtered, no color added.

Color: a light brownish amber.

Nose: brown spices and hints of dark stone fruit and sulphur. Astonishingly little alcohol given the very high ABV of this whisky.

Palate: stewed fruits of date, plum and orange zest. The Sherry influence cannot be mistaken, more of a refill Olorosso flavor with clove and cardamom lingering with the fruits for a nice long finish.

Minimal burn from the alcohol.

I next added a small amount of water to see what would happen.

The nose softened and seemed almost decadent. I sensed a little black cherry to go with the plum, date and citrus zest.

The palate change was even greater than the nose.

Oak crept forward and the dryness was at first magnified at the expense of the fruitiness. However, dried cherry joined the stewed prune plum and date. The brown spices remained present and seemingly unaltered. (I realize that the palate and the nose are conspicuously similar, but I call it like I smell and taste it).

The Cask Strength expression from Glengoyne is obviously a direct competitor to such great NAS whiskeys as the Glenfarclas 105 and Aberlour A’Bunadh. I like that it is not as sweet as the A’Bunadh and is more easily enjoyed without adding water. Clearly I need to do a side by side with the 3 whiskies.

On a purely epicurean note, I broke open an English Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar and it couldn’t have paired better with the rich chocolate, sweet raisins and the fatty almonds melding with the spicy, high alcohol dram for a flavor extravaganza.

Slainte mhath!