This is from the relatively new and incredibly popular Japanese distillery Chichibu. Distilled in 2011 and bottled in 2015, this has been produced from heavily peated malt and bottled at cask strength.
Nose: An intriguing mix of porridge oats, pine needles and warm tar, with a splash of sea water on the side. The dark notes calm down in the glass, to reveal a classic, grassy peatiness with some red berry sweetness and fresh coastal notes. The sweetness fades over time, revealing more green leaves and vegetal notes, all backed up by soft peat smoke.
Palate: Darker and weightier than the nose suggests. It has the liquorice from nose as well as background of burning peat and cast iron stoves. It's intense, with freshly unwrapped bandages, melted bittersweet dark chocolate, and both white pepper and cinnamon heat. Water reveals another side to the dram, with mineral notes and a sugary sweetness that runs through the middle sugar cookies and sponge cake.
Finish: Initially mineral-heavy gravel and seaside rockpools. As that fades, rich sweetness comes in, with dark chocolate picking up fresh minty notes.
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