An interesting nose; floral, pot-pourri and grassy notes balanced fruitiness (pineapple, blackcurrant, raspberry, foamy bananas). We also discovered a contrapuntal interplay between sweetness (syrup sponge, white chocolate, vanilla, toffee) and charred oak and clove. The palate was muscular, powerful and tasty; masculine flavours of balsamic, aniseed, pepper and various toasted notes (hazelnut, coconut, pizza crust) slightly overshadowed the Madeira cake and fondant icing sweetness. The reduced nose brought sugar-coated fennel seeds and bicycle repair shops. The reduced palate was slightly enigmatic – we found stem ginger, walnut whips, and chocolate digestive biscuits – but unquestionably moreish – a good cask, and a good dram.
Drinking tip: Interesting and unusual enough to be a conversation piece – or just to provide some early evening distraction.
Colour: Sauternes Cask: First-fill barrel Age: 15 years Date distilled: May 2000 Alcohol: 55.7% USA allocation: 84 bottles