Distilled in November 2009 and bottled in January 2022 after spending a dozen years resting in a virgin oak hogshead, before finishing off in a Galil Mountain wine barrel.
Appearance: Dark amber/real ale (55-60). A fairly thin swirl mark with many oozy teardrops and short trails. A sticky viscous film forms and clings to the inside of the glass.
Nose: A soft wave of ethanol. Toffee, cherry, oak and Christmas spices arrive first, all nicely balanced. Some orange zest, vanilla and a touch of salinity follow. A red berry flavoured boiled sweet sweetness, quite concentrated, shows towards the end of each nose. There’s a summer freshness to the nose like it’s being lifted slightly, along with Sodastream cola cordial. After tasting and then re-nosing, there’s a subtle funk too.
Palate: A semi-viscous mouthfeel and an immediate combination of flavours including gentle black pepper, cinnamon, red apple, vanilla, red berry and oak. There are plenty of flavours swirling around on the palate but all well moulded together, and nicely balanced. Unlike the nose, it presents higher than 46% on the palate. It’s a little drying but not so much as to be offputting. A pleasing mellow creamy note underpins the more fruity and spicy flavours.
Finish: Medium in length. Campino sweets, black pepper, those wood flavours and orange zest in the background. The pepper lasts the longest but only just outlasts the Campino.
Overall: A very pleasant dram. Possibly a little tilted towards the oak for my tastes, but that’s being hypercritical.