The nose excited us with brandy snaps, cinder toffee, chocolate-coated raisins and orange muscat spilled on slate – also vague suggestions of fried sage and nori. The weighty palate had spun sugar, burnt fruit cake, singed orange peel, dark toffee, dried dates and figs, and hints of cumin. With water, the nose was even more welcoming – treacle tart, moist gingerbread, caramelised almonds and dark chocolate with sea salt and caramel. The palate was now smooth, easy and attractive – cinnamon buns, sugar-coated fennel seeds, clove rock, liquorice and chocolate. After 13 years in ex-bourbon wood, we transferred this into a first-fill oloroso hogshead.
Cask: First-fill Oloroso hogshead Age: 14 years Date distilled: August 2004 Alcohol: 57.9% USA allocation: 72 bottles