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February 3, 2022 (edited February 4, 2022)
2.75 out of 5 stars
N: Distinct red and green apple notes with a mish-mash of other orchard notes. Something like a peach scented hand soap. Some wet grass and dirt funk in the background. Some mint and other dried herbs. Maybe a hint of cigarette smoke, but maybe @Ctrexman just put that in my brain and I'm imagining it.
P: Red apple with a dash of strawberry flavoring (not real strawberry). Has a sort of apple juice quality too. Middle has some round malt notes with a touch of caramel, vanilla, and white bread, but the mouthfeel is notably thin. Flash of cinnamon dusted custard with toffee bits pushes the pour along to the finish. Finish has a touch of heat with a baking spice character. That earthy funk from the nose comes back and feels like it has some peat elements now - it's kind of a lingering wet moss, which is not as bad as it sounds, but it's not great either.
This is basically a completely forgettable blend. This is no JW Black that even an experienced scotch drinker might occasionally want to revisit for old time's sake. It's not a malt forward Famous Grouse or Monkey Shoulder. It's certainly not on par with any Compass Box. Best thing I think I can say about this is that it does seem to have some the same profile as the much beloved JW Green, but it's as if the notes are all in the wrong key and played in the wrong order here. The earthy and herbal notes of the Green get merged with a solid malt backbone and a hearty, chewy mouthfeel with a small bonfire that was doused with sea spray. Here, the herbs are wilted and drowning in bowl of watered down apple juice that a toddler then decided to dump a cereal box onto while someone is smoking a cigarette in the next room. That said, I've had no trouble finishing the bottle - it's not drain pour bad. I don't even think I would say it's actually bad, just kind of blah and forgettable. And overpriced, but that's not surprising and it's still relatively cheap, so it's even forgettable on the VFM front.
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