The deep golden red brown colour of a Tiger’s eye gemstone gave a good indication of what lay in store for us. Wow – what a nose! Dark moist brandied fruit cake, Maraschino cherries and raisins soaked in rum, and the overall impression was like loading and firing an 18th century musket. Tasted straight it felt more like firing a 32 pounder naval canon from the lower gun deck of a first-rate ship; frightful, big, dry, woody and plenty of tannins but all in a balanced harmony. Water brought out oily and slightly salty notes combined with iron rust and the mouthfeel was now viscous, thick and chewy with the bitterness of coffee beans and a dry medicinal finish.
Cask: First-fill Sherry butt Age: 21 years Date distilled: November 1996 Alcohol: 54.7% USA allocation: 90 bottles