Ensign Red, 40%

Price: $20 Issue: Winter 2017 Reviewer: Davin de Kergommeaux

A slightly closed nose opens to pleasing meatiness, then green fruits with hints of evergreen. The palate is sweet and surprisingly rich, although fairly simple. Strong peppery spices and something pleasantly vegetal creep in. Slowly, the sweetness becomes unctuous, turning an otherwise fine sipping whisky into a mixer. Brisk spices provide a counterpoint to the sweetness, but the balance seems off. Some structure finally develops around suggestions of dark chocolate.