A potent and muscular aroma. One filled with dark caramel, peppery beef jerky, incense, seared steak and leaf mulch. Beyond that there’s damp pipe tobacco, expensive cigar boxes, baked raisins and grape botrytis. Immensely concentrated and satisfying. A splash of water reveals star anise, fennel seeds toasting in a pan, treacle pudding, herbal tinctures and tannic black teas. The palate is skewered by lean and pointed sweetness. Around which gravitates sauteed wild mushrooms, game meats, aged pinot noir, beef boullion, autumnal leafiness and sultana-studded gingerbread. With water there’s a leathery mutton note along with grippy tannin, freshly shaved pencils, egg custard, old Armagnac and ash-rolled goats cheese. Some blood orange marmalade and old boal madeira in the finish.
Cask: First-fill Port barrique Age: NAS (non-age statement) Date distilled: NAS Alcohol: 57.8% USA allocation: 60 bottles