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OMG...as close to perfection as a whisky can get
Have had this in waiting since 2021
An enticing apple, fruitiness, light peat on the nose
Sherry on the palate that carries through the finish
Lower proof holds its own does not disappoint
The nose starts with powdered sugar dusted strawberries, mango smoothie and dusty leather-bound books then dark chocolate covered toasted coconut, sweet pipe tobacco, hay and seaside rocky minerality followed by sautéed cherries, orange zest and grilled pineapple that transitions to light baking spices and polished antique mahogany furniture with low ethanol burn.
The taste is a medium mouthfeel starting with powdered sugar dusted strawberries, mango smoothie and dusty leather-bound books then a moderate bitter and sour spice that quickly fades to dark chocolate covered espresso beans, freshly lit cigar, toasted marshmallow and seaside rocky minerality followed by sautéed cinnamon apples, orange blossom and apricot that transitions to light baking spices and polished antique mahogany furniture with low ethanol burn.
The finish is long with sautéed cinnamon apples, sour cherries, mango, coconut cream pie, freshly lit pipe tobacco, seaside rocky minerality, hay, dusty leather-bound books and polished antique furniture.
For 29 years old, this is an incredibly fruit forward dram with the red berries and creamy tropical fruits dominating with the old oak in the background along with light earthy spices, farmyard and seaside rocky minerality. It has a beautiful balance of sweet, earthy, salty and sour flavors that flow well together but suffers from a moderate bitter spice that throws the balance off ever so slightly and the 44.1% ABV providing an excellent mouthfeel with rich flavors, but likely could have used a few more percentage points to make the flavors bolder.
At a price of $600+ per bottle, this is a fantastic whisky that I’m happy to have tried a sample of but not one that I’d be looking to buy a full bottle of as there are plenty of other options I like just as much or better for less.
Incredibly fruity, like apples, pears, melon. Best whiskey I’ve ever had. Sherry notes, incredibly dense in flavor, long finish. Don’t let the low proof fool you, that is because of the age. Oily mouth feel, with an incredibly dense flavor because of the 29 years. Worth a pour at any price to try once
Nose- red apple skins, juicy golden delicious, not getting much else fruit.
Taste-. Sweet. Zero smoke, more red apple skins and golden delicious juice.
Finish- slightly tart at the end. I think it's reminding me so much of apples that it tastes like apple seeds, slight mustiness. Some heat and spice, more than 44% would expect. It's numbing the inside of my mouth. Some almonds or nut in the finish.
Overall it's good but I'm not seeing it's value. It's rare and I am excited to check a black art off but I'd take a port Charlotte over this personally at a 1/10th the cost. It did get better in the glass. Maybe I needed to let it sit longer.
Had it over the weekend.
This was really incredible - took a little while to open up, but what started as a nose slightly similar to Red Breast 27 (candied peach) turns into a complex experience, led by fig and nuts and followed by a touch of sweetness in the long finish.
If this isn’t the best whisky I’ve ever had, it’s certainly close.
Nose - Beautiful mix of fresh & dried apples, grilled pineapple, golden raisins, strawberries, caramel, honey
Taste - Light lactic funk, saline, apple custard creaminess, lightly bitter apple skin/stem/core, light dried tropical fruit vibes, orange creamsicle, fruity/acidic coffee/espresso, lightly effervescent, almost like a less sweet orange Fanta
Finish - Gentle warmth, creamy mouthfeel, light tropical fruit "funk", gentle salt
Score - 92/100
Final Thoughts - So Adam Hannett continues to improve on his previous Black Art releases with this one. Beautiful nose on this one and it feels like a mix of multiple different casks. Nice and fruity, but also nice notes of caramel from what I'm guessing are ex-Bourbon to hold this back from being too sherry & wine cask forward. Beautiful balance of flavors, but somehow there is this bit of bitter apple peel/core that gets a bit too distracting. I think it wouldn't have been too bad if there was more sweetness to it, but a lot of flavors are competing against each other in this one and the bitterness is a bit too much for the subtle flavors. I think I'm being a bit too critical here as it really is put together quite well, but it is a bit distracting for what's there.
Would I drink it if offered? - Yes
Would I specifically order it? - Yes
Would I buy a bottle? - Maybe, but only if I could find it for ~$300
NOTE - All reviews are done without factoring in price.