Produced at the Nothernmost distillery on the Scottish mainland in Wick (a town inaccessible by road until the mid 19th century), it is little surprise that such a place produces such a distinctive whisky. The rub is that its distinction comes from the fact that it is so perfectly balanced in a manner that renders it suitable for almost any palate. Combine this balance with with one of the best looking bottles on the market and you arrive at a whisky that is memorable for every facet of its being.
Nose: Hints of salt air give way to fresh-cut pear before settling down to memories of fresh baked honey-oat bread with a touch of suede leather.
Palate: Opening up with more heat than the 17 year old expression does nothing to diminish its buttery mouthfeel. Once the heat fades, cocoa, honey, and cereal grains manifest with an almost sweet and sour sensation fused with subtle tones of roast almonds.
Finish: Sweet, salt, and a hint of sourness provide the aforementioned balance that few whiskies can achieve. The cereal tones and roast almond remain long into the finish while the heat quickly dissipates into a warm, slightly oakey overtone.
Overall: While not as refined and subtle as its 17 year old counterpart, there is no reason to thumb one's nose at this golden joy. I recommend this one as a Scotch for a night in late fall, when its additional heat and soothing warmth will do extremely well to help one ignore the creeping cold of the impending winter. Absolutely worth picking up if you can find it.