The nose, we agreed, was fruity (tinned peaches, honeydew melon, plum dessert) and sweet (honey, sticky toffee pudding, Victoria sponge), with some spicy, woody notes (tea chests, Oddfellows). The neat palate drew a chorus of hot, hot, hot! (chilli, cayenne, ginger) though agreeable butterscotch, crème brûlée, ice-cream and honey tried to soothe the flames. Water rescued the situation – the nose developed comforting coconut caramel log, vanilla panna cotta and chocolate, with subtle hints of soft leather. The palate now displayed less intensity of wood and heat – becoming fruitier and sweeter; chewy, tasty and balanced with attractive vanilla ice-cream and peach melba.
Cask: Refill barrel Age: 13 years Date distilled: February 2004 Alcohol: 56.5% USA allocation: 66 bottles