sample from a friend
Nose: Some of that sweet spice and fine aged wood that so reminds us of incense. Graphite and pencil shavings. The sherry influence is clear, balanced and not overwhelming the characteristics of the malt. Cherries, strawberry liqueur, just the tiniest drop of pressed coffee and candy chocolate. Oxygen draws out some red apples and cedar/teak in a mossy forest. A sour eau-de-vie channel opens among the fruit. There's something to this. (with water) Yes, it leaps from the glass now. The incense stick and spice box are a more complete layer. Plums, blackberries, strawberries, and jammy cherries.
Palate: Rich and chewy with sour fruit. Cherries, honey, salt, and a slightly ashy quality. The oak comes out a bit, turning bitter strawberries into graphite, cedar (dry and seasoned), and bitter apple. A tad bitter for my liking at the midpalate and just after. Lots of softly flavored woods with only a few grains of generic brown sweet spice. Maybe this will open up with water. (with water) Oh yes, the fruit is much nicer here, even if it's less chewy. The spice and incense are sticky, but the bitterness remains, and it seems rather less complex.
Finish: Generally more sour, especially with water, and lots of the same fruit and spices. More graphite and sour cherries and cranberries at the end, even if not the strongest or most distinct. This has its moments, and there were bits that I really loved, but it never quite gets where I had hoped it was going!
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