Distilled at the Speyburn Distillery, Speyside in March 2007 before spending a long period of maturation in a single Sherry Butt.
Appearance: Honey gold with an auburn hue. A beaded swirl line quickly forms, with a number of teardrops. A viscous film forms on the inside of the glass rippled with medium trails.
Nose: A strong ethanol wave hits the senses, rich in vanilla, honey, icing sugar, caramel and orchard fruits (particularly apple and plum).
There are also some underlying berry and tropical notes of watermelon. The spice notes are found in the form of subtle black pepper, cinnamon and ginger.
Palate: Not a hugely viscous mouthfeel, slightly oily. The ABV is immediately evident and a good helping of spice greets the palate. White pepper and mild chilli take the lion’s share of the flavours on the first sip.
The second sip provides a slightly more balanced insight, with more caramel and sugar sweetness. The vanilla also starts to penetrate the spice notes.
As my palate acclimatised, an ashy berry element appears, like someone has thrown some blackberries and raspberries in BBQ embers.
Finish: The spice and icing sugar last for a medium amount of time, along with faint vanilla and honey.
Overall: It’s a lovely dram. A touch spice-heavy for my tastes but that’s my personal preference. The sweeter notes are beautifully balanced on the nose.