Ceci n’est pas un faux… A whisky label with a nod to our dear Magritte, lovely. If you look closely there’s also a Sestante release, perhaps with an indication of the distillery, or maybe not.
This Islay Single Malt was distilled in 1992 and bottled not long ago by Whisky Sponge.
Islay Single Malt 27 yo 1992 (48,5%, Whisky Sponge 2020, refill barrel, 293 btl.)
Nose: rather medicinal with a lot of menthol and tiger balm, then more antiseptics and bonfire smoke. Oldtimer exhaust. Nice balance of deep peat with bright, minty sharpness and a hint of terpentine. Walnuts, some leafy and mossy notes. There’s an echo of 1970s Ardbeg in this one too.
Mouth: now a bit softer and rounder than I expected. Smoked malty notes, with a maritime salty edge, sweet lemons and some stewed apple and pear liqueur. Sweet but maybe not as (tropically) fruity like a Laphroaig would / could be. Crushed black peppercorns. Smoked oyster. Subtle hints of chocolate ganache.
Finish: clean, long, with maritime smoke, still some chocolate and a zesty, salty tang.
Excellent mature Islay whisky. Apparently this is old blending stock – there are hints of both Ardbeg and Laphroaig but for me the scale tips towards the former.