Aged for 12 years in a hogshead & then finished for several months in hand-picked Syrah wine barrels from the Tulip winery in Northern Israel.
Appearance: Dark gold/caramel (25-30). A thick swirl line forms after a couple of swirls. After a time it slowly releases a few teardrops and plenty of medium trails. A nice viscous film forms around the glass.
Nose: A small amount of ethanol greets the nose. Brown sugar, spring water, foam sweets and a rich blackberry pie fruitiness. The second sip reveals vanilla, toffee apple (red apple), rhubarb and subtle Christmas spices, particularly cinnamon and nutmeg. As the dram matures the wine influence increases and really starts to morph the nose into a funky red and black berry-forward nose, very nice evolution.
Palate: A very pleasing, oilier-than-expected mouthfeel. More spice, in the form of black pepper and cinnamon, on the palate than the nose (nothing unusual there) and a lovely silky wave of vanilla and melted butter. The berry sweetness and mellow pastry notes are not far behind, a very desserty dram this one. A touch of pine freshness and very faint pink grapefruit add another layer, albeit subtle.
Finish: Short to medium in length. The black pepper, cinnamon and berry fruits last longest. The pine and grapefruit do make it to the finish but fade quickly. The last flavour is a slightly drying lemon pepper note which seems to appear from nowhere (not a bad thing).
Overall: A very pleasant easy sipper of a dram. I’d love to try a CS version, but I say that about every non-CS whisky! Very nice.