The nose suggested sweet treats spread out on a wooden table – vanilla tablet, walnut fudge, coconut macaroons, custard creams and Garibaldi biscuits. The palate started out with mouth-flooding sweetness (apple strudel, raisins, dates and prunes) but then a spicy ginger, chilli heat kicked in – and seemed to out-last the sweetness. The reduced nose conjured up a scene from Madeira – painted boats on a pebble beach, old deck-chairs, honey cake and lemonade, with a flower market not far away. The palate now showed its lighter side, with cinnamon swirls and maple and pecan Danish pastries – but still enough to sustain our interest.
Drinking tip:Ideally, with high tea at Reid’s Hotel in Funchal.
Colour: Van Gogh’s indulgence Cask: Refill butt Age: 14 years Date distilled: September 2001 Alcohol: 55.5% USA allocation: 60 bottles