Nose: Intense and rich with dark chocolate covered cherries, plump raisins and cinnamon swirls sitting alongside crystalline ginger and touches of sherry rancio. Running throughout – sticky toffee pudding, treacle tart and maple syrup together with a slice of coffee and walnut cake. Diluted, the ex-bourbon hogshead moves more to the fore with lacquered wood panelling, chopped almonds and a grating of nutmeg.
Taste: The arrival speaks of active, concentrated PX maturation with chocolate sauce, stewed plums, sultanas and wisps of tobacco and charred old oak casks. The mid-palate again picks up on the coffee note with spent espresso grounds, before additional sweetness emerges from Jamaican ginger cake. Reduction results in perkier spicing with cinnamon and nutmeg joining the party alongside apple compote, baked pears and freshly brewed black coffee.
Finish: Quite long with persistent chocolate, lingering char and progressive dryness.
Whilst I usually prefer my middle-aged Lossies drawn from refill ex-bourbon, here the imposing PX finish has resulted in something rather unctuous and decadent. Arguably there’s a lot of active sherry influence here and as a result, the spirit has been somewhat subsumed – but the result is still largely focussed and above all else simply quite tasty.
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