‘Gentle’ and ‘Mellow’ whispered our panellists, sniffing mango, peach and honeydew melon, lemon puffs, fruit-cake, vanilla sponge and banana bread; sherry and dried apricots gave cask clues. The palate was tasty, warming and complex – caramel wafer, muscovado, walnut cake and dark chocolate soufflé against charcuterie, woody tannins and burnt paper. The reduced nose gave one panellist a ‘boozy chocolate fondue’ (dipping sponge fingers, bananas and grapes); another got a celery stick bloody Mary on a lady’s dressing table. The palate had Jaffa cakes, crème brûlée and nutty chocolate; melon, kiwi, and dried figs, plus hints of roast duck and barbecued steaks.
Cask: Refill hogshead Age: 20 years Date distilled: February 1997 Alcohol: 54.9% USA allocation: 48 bottles