Balblair 90 Second Release Bottled 2016 (46% abv)
Colour - looks reddish in the bottle, gold in the glass.
Nose - There's a strong malt backing in this. Whisky, for sure. What hits you first is how oily it smells. Musk melon, butter, some salt and kelp. Then, lots of red fruits, and perhaps a bit of tannin, like a French wine. Looking at prunes and dried cranberries. That turns nutty, with a hint of some flower too. Very vibrant nose.
Palate: Cranberries, Raspberries, cherry tomatoes, honeydew, smoke and the taste of sand by the beach. There's quite a bit of spices as well - cloves, cinnamon. Caramelized sugar. This is sweetened fruit juice! Like those packet fruit juices that swear that there's no sugar added. Except of course, there's this rich, buttery, salty side as well.
Finish - Very warming, and stays with you for a looooong time. Menthol, light, gentle smoke, mm. Spices are coming out now. Cloves and cumin. Some drops of fruit juice still. Mixed with some saline solution. Wow. Sweet and slightly salty to the end...where a whiff of smoke comes back up.
Overall - bonus marks for that beautiful bottle. This was great. Fairly pricey, at about $280, but beautiful, aged perfectly. At 26 years old when bottled, this is the oldest whisky I've bought in terms of cask ageing (the Talisker 25 from 2007 is, of course, older). Honestly, feels like it's bang for buck, despite its premium price.