Age Statement: 19 years old
Extra info: Bottled by van Wees, cask #50168, bottle 201 of 319
From the Ultimate series of independent bottler van Wees comes this Imperial. Distilled in 1995 and bottled in 2014, this has aged for an impressive 19 years in a Bourbon hogshead. Many have given very positive feedback on this particular expression, although according to most of those, its sister, cask number 50167, is a tad better. With a price tag of around €60 this really is a bargain when you consider it’s 19 years old and comes from a closed distillery. I don’t doubt this will be going up quickly in the close future.
Nose: Very fruity; fresh summer fruits like apricot, peach, pineapple, figs and sweet apples. Honey sweetness and a surprising waxy note. Sweet oak, hay and some light caramel. Overall very sweet and refreshingly fruity.
Taste: Soft and sweet with a bit of a spicy kick. Some fruit still, but much less than in the nose. The waxy note is very obvious now, and spice (cardamom, nutmeg) brings some bitterness in. Quite creamy and smooth, very easy to sip.
Finish: Wax, garden fruit, honey/vanilla and soft oak. Quite a bit longer than I was expecting, and the overall refreshing, fruity quality is enjoyable.
Overall: This is very easy to drink. Nothing abrasive about it, only friendly, soft, sweet notes. Lacks a bit of complexity but who cares, this is just delicious.
4 stars (86-90 range)