Sponge Edition 60B is something of sister release (in that it came out at the same time to the refill sherry hogshead 27 year old Edition 60A). This one keeps things simple with refill ‘plain’ oak and a slightly higher ABV of 51.1%. On paper I should prefer it. Let’s see.
Nose: Candied pineapple and flambe orange sit atop a stack of pancakes with putty, paraffin and tin cans (there’s that metal edge once more). Limestone and earthy dunnage lie at the centre and are joined by dusty fabrics from an ancient wardrobe (sadly no Narnia). It’s less overtly fruity than Edition 60A – but it’s still highly lucid and articulate. Dilution reveals singed herbs, seawater and a real oily quality of lamp oils and machine polish.
Taste: An amalgam of industry and agriculture with neither dominating the other wholly. Pineapple rings, apple slices and lychee juice – then Brasso, graphite oil, hot house vine ‘greenness’ and saline solution. Water here does shift the balance more towards the mechanised – petroleum jelly somehow given a fruity tang and joined by crumbled chalk.
Finish: Long and saving the fruitiness for the last gasp – dusty pineapple with pangs of metal sheeting.
A somewhat esoteric combination that totally works and possesses very high harmony. This just edges Edition 60A for me. Not because it’s world’s apart, but because the coherency is simply a little higher and the few notches of ABV help with the delivery of that likewise. Cerebral stuff to take ones time with whilst mulling over.