Yula II 21 year old (2016)
Non chill filtered
No added colouring
£101.80 from Master of Malt
On first sniff there is a floral smokiness. Heather and salted caramel. Light peat smoke, medicinal in nature, a touch of tcp and germoline. Maritime notes come through later on with salty sea air and some seawater soaked rope. After a few minutes breathing things take a sweeter turn, still very maritime, but now the caramel, honey salted sweetness is coming through nicely integrated with the heather sea air freshness. It’s a lovely clean smelling dram.
First sip is big, brash, a level of astringency, very memorable, but we don’t judge on first sips, although I felt it worth mentioning as it’s big and flavoursome. Arrival is sweet, quite smokier than the nose suggests, some moss and earthiness also very prominent. Salted caramel comes into the development, softly, fulfilling in the mouth as is the oiliness. There are also touches of fresh lemon juice. At the end of the development salt becomes more sea salt, with some iodine and peat notes coming back. This is a palate that has a story, a beginning, a middle and an end, a proper 3 act affair, nice.
The warming peat and fresh salted caramel continues into the medium to long length finish. With some waxy lemon juice zing and heather honey drizzled toffee.
I added more than I intended thanks to an overzealous hand. Fingers crossed I haven’t killed it. A lot of lemon on the nose now, lemon bonbon confectionary. The palate is also a lot lighter (too much water – damn), there is still some smokiness, earthy peat and everything is very accessible, but also very toned down. The finish is light, fresh, lemon enriched peat smoke. It’s still very beautiful indeed, but I wouldn’t have watered it down quite so much as this. But it’s still very tasty, and makes me wonder about further water exploration in the future with other drams.
This is a lovely, soft, smokey, confectionary rich adventure of a dram. There’s an awful lot going on. Very well blended from some quality malts immensely enjoyable stuff. It’s not a cheap bottle of whisky, but it is a very enjoyable one.
Many thanks to Douglas Laing for the review sample