The first sniff took us straight to aged riesling wine with a delightfully oily hue. On the second inspection we discovered pineau des charentes, and further to that armagnac. 'Is this whisky?' we thought as calvados now erupted from the glass. Then more familiar notes of roasted chestnuts and dark chocolate emerged alongside apples, sultanas and cinnamon stick. The palate carried a sticky thickness as dried figs joined Black Forest gateau. With water we wandered into aged cider and cherry liqueur with a warm slice of tarte tatin and a dollop of apple chutney. Then oily walnuts continued through to a finish that was heavy with dried orange and coconut. After spending 15 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead this was transferred to a 1st fill oloroso hogshead for the remainder of its maturation.
Cask: First-fill Oloroso hogshead Age: 18 years Date distilled: October 2000 Alcohol: 56.3% USA allocation: 66 bottles