Appearance: Burnished copper in color, this whisky displays irregular but well-formed legs, along with impressively attenuated beading, which is a surprising combination that I rarely encounter. Does that make Ghost and Rare look “spooky” in the glass? Well, er, sort of. . . but not off-putting, in the least.Nose: Drafty air from a dunnage warehouse greets the nose, along with hazelnut and caramel. A noticeable wood presence comes across as wet oak. I grew up in a grove of oak trees in Oregon, and so I know the scent well. My father cut down the trees quite often for firewood. Guess who carried logs up to the wood stove nearly every day in winter time? That’s right: yours truly. In my glass, there are also scents of dark chocolate, cardamom, wheat grass juice, coconut, raspberry, and dried corn husk. I’m impressed with the complexity.
Palate: Forty-six percent ABV provides an adequate “delivery system” for the flavors in my glass. Chocolate-drizzled hazelnut is all but absent in the mouth. I’m getting an austere note of salted cashew instead, along with stewed plum, stewed pear, dried apricot, agave syrup, and caramelized sugar. I’m also detecting a very faint hint of hickory wood smoke. The finish is medium in length, with a measured, well-articulated sweetness that finally gives up the ghost bitterly. Let’s call it a “mahogany deathbed.” I welcome this last, bitter, woody note, as it tends to ready the palate for another sip of nectar.
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