The nose bursts forth with classic leather and sandalwood–or maybe rosewood, but definitely not a leather sandal on Rose’s foot. But overall, the nose is softer than lamb’s ear ivy succulents on percale sheets on a memory foam bed. Still, there are notes of gooey caramel and anise seeds marinated in cologne (in Köln, of course) hiding in there, just beneath the surface. There are also notes of shavings from the black keys of Keith Jarrett’s piano added to pasta (appropriately enough, after The Köln Concert). But then comes the creaminess and fruit: ghee drizzled over a melon-mango hybrid atop a layer of even more luscious fruit–fully ripened kiwi, cherries, and papaya–hiding underneath. It just gets richer and more delicious as time goes on.
The first note on the mouth is clear: marmot ceviche. And it’s delicious. There’s plum and leather and tobacco and flying squirrel wing feathers, all balanced beautifully. Then comes the fruit: it’s a fruit salad brought to a dinner party, but consisting of fruit you’ve never seen or tasted before. Are those Willy Wonka berries? It’s explosive and scintillating, like unicorn diarrhea–but in a good way.
The finish is extraordinarily long and is accompanied by a delicious mouthfeel. Dr. Bill is obviously getting tons of mood enhancers that he’s crushing into the mash. It provoked quips like “Wheeee!!!” and “That is a fine booty,” when it’s unclear if one is referring to treasure or the back end of the dram. [Bill: These were notes on the finish, but parse them however you like.] The finish ends like a windsock named Icarus that floats up toward the sun, bowing and waving, but with no obsequiousness, just piquancy.
On the scale of Greek myth analogies–
The Glenmorangie 19 Year Old Finest Reserve is flying with the ambition of Icarus, but the good sense of Daedalus–Dr. Bill Lumsden aimed high here, but managed to hit the right level without going too high. Not enormously complex, especially for its age, but it is flat-out delicious.