Appearance: Deep, rich amber. Good beading.
Nose: Immediate raisin fruit and behind it, smoke from a recently lit fire or the inside of a Tudor chimney: damp yet welcoming. Linseed oil, wax crayon, pine resin? After this, soft fruits slowly appear (redcurrants, elderberries, over-ripe red apples) and the aromas grow richer and sweeter, with creamy butter and caramel. Finally, faint old smoke and damp, country churches. Dry overall, even with a little water, which brings subtlety; lemonade and marzipan, and finally spent matches and wood-ash, in a now-cold hearth.
Body: Medium to full. Lighter with water.
Palate: Initially hesitant, then full, cooling, sweet. Easy to drink at natural strength; smooth, rich and full-bodied. Sweet and tonguecoating, with rich bitter-sweet molasses, treacle toffee and toffee apples. Growing warmth and dryness, becoming woody and nutty, with more butter and bitter chocolate, before faint hints of a more savoury character. With water, calmer, creamier and sweeter in the mouth, with vanilla and beeswax.
Finish: Complex and deep. Fabulous charred oak and fresh oak smoke. Finally sweet; perhaps baked apples, with creamy coffee and salted caramels.