Nose: Sweet black liquorice, bitter liquorice pastilles, green herbs, earthy mushrooms, slight saltiness, walnut bread, rich fruit cake, molasses, sweet pastry develops with a sharp raisin sweetness, and some good gluey notes.
Palate: Big tannic dryness hits, with waves of juiciness close behind. Hot and spicy with liquorice and sweet raisins, dark chocolate sauce, perfumed wood and Pedro Ximinez sherry. Water adds earthiness to the nose and kills the burn from the palate, revealing lots of fruity sweetness, syrup, dark chocolate spread sandwiches and even more sweet liquorice.
Finish: Sweet fruit, apple Jolly Ranchers, cinnamon and lingering liquorice root.
Nose: Very big, rich molasses and Christmas cake notes, plus chocolate-covered caramel / millionaire's shortbread, rich damson / prune / plum conserve, brown sugar and a hint of sweet blackcurrant jelly and very faint woodsmoke.
Palate: Massive and hugely spicy at full strength, with big clove, cinnamon and black pepper at full strength, along with some chilli heat. The sherry and dark fruits are in the background, but quite difficult to pick out. Opens up very nicely with water, with the fruit much more prominent - again, damson & plum, now with raisins and griotte cherries - and the oaky spices taking a more subdued supporting role.
Finish: Very, very long, warm & drying.