Nose: Heavily-reduced sugars – burnt toffee, treacle and honeycomb taken too far in the pan. Raisins sit with Terry’s Chocolate orange whilst Armagnac-soaked sponge cake is slathered in dark chocolate sauce and pepped up by stem ginger. The addition of water broadens the aromas out considerable – wine poacher pears, fig rolls, tangerines and golden syrup alongside choux pastry and burnt tart cases.
Taste: More of the same – though in no way unwelcome with it. Dark chocolate, burnt caramel, dates and cinnamon rolls alongside 1970s orange liqueurs and a hearty seasoning of nutmeg. The mid-palate favours bitterness – boot polish, high cocoa solid chocolate, syrup-drizzled dates and piquant red peppers. Reduction once again is highly beneficial – syrupy oranges with pear cordial, scrumpy cider and velvety chocolate sponge.
Finish: Medium to long and all on chocolate and cinnamon spicing.
Straight out of the bottle, this Dailuaine offers an abundance of deep sherry influenced aromas and flavours – rich and fulsome, but at times, a touch astringent in places. Water proves to be the great leveller not only emphasising a much wider selection of flavours, but also giving the underlying weighty spirit more room to express itself. Pipettes at the ready.
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