Distilled: 1981 - Bottled: 2011 - ABV: 56.6%
Nose: Packs a massive punch full of new car radiator fan belts soaked in balsamic vinegar. There’s Soursob (used to chew on these as a kid in Australia), bike tyres/tubes, in fact an assortment of rubber items - but I think you get the picture. With time, and once past the latex/polymeric substances it does open up and show differences: kirsch syrup, port-like raisins and dark cherry bonbons. These are pleasant - if/when you can find them past the dominant sourness and rubber. Water adds burnt red wine sauce and tames the rubber a bit.
Taste: Borderline strange, if you are looking for something with “unusual characteristics” than this is for you. Smack-bang on Soursob, balsamic vinegar, and rubber wood. Extremely dry malt with bitter tannins and chalk. Dilution adds elements of mint licorice and spicy rubbery cherry.
Finish: Dry, long and chalky with Soursob. Water cuts the chalkiness and turns down the dryness a notch, adds a bit of bitterness and that’s about it.
Comment: In my opinion this is malt you either love or dislike. I was learning towards the later for the majority of the time. It did begin to grow on me with lots of time - and I do mean lots. I began to like the “unusual characteristics” at times, but then it all went pear shaped again and got a bit too much in the end. Grateful for the experience and very grateful if I must be completely honest that I didn’t fork out lots of cash on my own bottle.
For an alternate review take a look at Pierre W's over at Connosr. Once again, many thanks for the sample.