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Big and richly resinous – the smell of a violinist, bow rosined, trapped inside a heavy oak wardrobe. Add in melting chocolate, black cherry, then a whiff of (slightly old) pot pourri. As things develop so you get old waxed leather mixed with jelly babies, blackcurrant cordial, deep spices and mixed nuts. With water added it takes on a more classically mature cast: beeswax, toffee apple and orange Pekoe tea. Water mellows things without diminishing the richness, while adding in a little overripe banana and a more honeyed element.
Medium-bodied with a very gentle flow – the grain is particularly elegant – allowing it to skim the palate. You do need to pay attention to find the dried fig fruit, sugared plums, and then caramel, before things deepen into liquorice and dark chocolate, all bound together with this toffee-like grain. Be careful with the water. A splash allows it to expand in the mouth.
Lightly drying with fine-grained tannin. Long.
Lovely blending here. Take your time, relax and concentrate.