Distilled in 1992 and aged in ex-sherry oak casks for 21 years with only 2,892 bottles released.
The nose is extremely reserved, but clearly savoury at first: almost sapid with hints of truffle oil, or earthy with a fruity sweetness as found in ginger cake with sultanas. This soon settles down to fruit-cake mix with allspice and nutmeg. With time, sweetness emerges as dark treacle toffee; then grows richer, as sweet, buttery pastry and whipped cream. Later, newly burnt toast leads to a charred conclusion, with embers from a wood fire. Equally slow with water; waxier though, with a little steamed ginger sponge, some fruit cake, and aromatic woody notes.
On the palate it is big, smooth-textured and mouth-filling, with a sweet and spicy nature. The first sip cools, then the taste catches fire! Briefly salty and savoury, with oily undertones, then a developing toffee sweetness eventually leads to (appetising) burnt pastry. With water, the texture is equally smooth, the taste a fine, more-ish balance of sweet and spicy. The finish is lengthy, chewy and warming, with a menthol effect, a hint of flint, then burnt currants on Christmas cake or dried orange peel. There are notes of almond in the beautifully aromatic aftertaste and there’s a very late, charred astringency with a faded trace of smoke.
Tasting notes courtesy of Diageo.