The nose was citric and inviting – lemon puffs, gooseberry, papaya, banana skin and lime marmalade. We also got tropical hardwood, vanilla, spearmint chews and rolling tobacco. The palate was a shock however – tongue-etching, reverberating heat of black pepper, dried chilli flakes, ginger, lime peel and dry oak, but with forgiving Manuka honey and hard toffee sweetness. The reduced nose found the dry, dustiness of old spice cupboards, coconut husks and hessian but there were exotic things too – chocolate limes and honeydew melon. The palate was easier with water – from cooling to hot in the mouth, like a banana ice-lolly with a harissa centre.
Cask: Refill hogshead Age: 11 years Date distilled: March 2008 Alcohol: 61.3% USA allocation: 78 bottles