Completing Decadent Drink’s season comes the winter edition of Equinox and Solstice – a 1st fill hogshead of Craigellachie that was filled in 2006 and then bottled 15 years later at the same strength as the other bottles in the series – 48.5%.
Nose: Bright, fresh and fruit-forward with Ribena and redcurrant jelly alongside freshly baked cinnamon buns, ground chocolate and plump sultanas. In the background a dusty dryness from cocoa powder, crumbled earth and newly planed oak. The addition of water presents chopped almonds, nougat and a selection of reeds and flax.
Taste: Richly spiced sherry from the get-go. Red and black berry compote is lifted via pepper, cinnamon and spiced raisins, whilst filter coffee and chocolate shavings are joined by vinous, leafy sherry and percolating cask char. Reduction offers a creaminess that was absent at bottling strength – less of the perky cask spices – far more coffee and walnut cream and brulee with a burnt sugar crust.
Finish: Quite long and revealing a minty aspect – After Eights with residual pepperiness and dark chocolate.
2021’s final Equinox and Solstice edition offers a hearty sherried experience throughout which brings with it plenty of spices, but little if any of the expected dryness which often would go hand-in-hand. As such, this represents great after dinner dramming – particularly so if you’re willing to experiment with dilution and are looking for some creamy sweetness. Easy to like.