Nose: The purest old oak: antiquarian bookstores, old church pews, leather armchairs in a gentleman's club - very sweet, rich sherry, raisins, some balsamic vinegar, then grainy woodglue notes, dried slices of coconut, rich sweet bananas baked with brown sugar... basically a very venerable aged spirit still showing plenty of life.
Palate: Big spicy oak attack, then dry tannins and heavy treacle notes, moving into highly-concentrated Christmas cake, raisins soaked in rum, autumn leaves, warm spices including cinnamon, dried ginger, clove and a hint of dried chilli. A small dribble of water tames the spices and lifts fig rolls, raisin syrup and ginger snap biscuits.
Finish: Big and rich. Quite spicy and drying as one expects, with the oak dominant without being totally overpowering.
Comment: A long-aged spirit from the very best type of old sherry oak. Hugely characterful and hugely enjoyable.
A Germanobritt joint bottling.
Nose: well, no whisky, rum. It’s true that very old spirits (whisky, cognac, rum…) tend to converge but indeed, this really smells like some old rum of very fine quality. Touches of pencil shavings, raisins, bananas flambéed, vanilla, coconut, café latte, oak smoke, Demerara sugar… well, Demerara indeed! Really curious about the palate, it should be less ‘rummy’….
Mouth: ho-ho, it’s less rummy for sure but rummy it remains. High mentholated extraction, sugar cane (rather rum agricole), liquorice, bags of raisins, angelica, Cointreau and very sweet coffee. The whole is warming and pretty creamy, it’s even got something ‘Bailey’ (please do not shoot!) After ten minutes: more ‘arranged rum – rather toward pineapple in rum. As always, it’s also got something slightly bourbony.
Finish: long and spicier, as expected. White pepper, ginger and cloves, with an aftertaste that makes me think of Compass Box’ Orangerie. That’s funny!
Comments: a lovely concoction, greatly both rummy and liqueury, eminently drinkable. No ideas as for the price but if it’s fair and if you haven’t got any old grain in the house, well, I know what I would do.
SGP:642 - 90 points.