Delicious. It feels incredibly cohesive despite all the crazy flavours and intensity. The wine casks are very subtle but really work. As tasty as this is, I don’t know if I like it any more than the also-delicious 9.1. They’re pretty different: this one doesn’t have quite as much complexity, and trades in the fruit and herbs for more meat and honey. I’d give this one half a point of an edge if I could, but I can’t, so whatever. Bottom line: drink this and be happy.
Nose: Incredibly rich, malty, and meaty. A good bit of of peat smoke, earthy, charcoal-y, and medicinal. Vaguely rubbery. Salami and ham aplenty, along with both hard cheese and goat’s cheese. The body is all barley sugar, honey, salted caramel, and chocolate-covered sponge toffee. Sunflower seeds and some walnuts. Mushrooms, soy sauce, and dark chocolate. A little bit of sappy green wood and forest floor. French vanilla! It’s not particularly fruity aside from the barley sugar, but there’s definitely some pear, apricot, and green grape in there.
The sweetness builds as it sits in the glass: it gets cleaner, fruitier and more honeyed. Some vanilla, pear, and mint
Palate: Oily texture. This round fruity note actually opens up here, before more of that goat cheese and honey. Lovely rich dirty funk, toasted sesame seeds, oregano, and new leather. The development is pure barley and peat, which I think is the whole idea with the x.3s. Then comes lots more dark chocolate, toffee, honey, nuts, and smoke. Just a bit of dried fruit in there, coming across as a sweet rounded mustiness.
Finish: Lots of honey, almost texturaly, too. Ripe fruit: strawberry, orange, nectarine, dates. Oh hey, it’s my favourite note: strawberry-jam-glazed kosher salami cooked in a dirty wok in the woods! Medicinal notes and earth. Honey and nuts. Black pepper, sundried tomatoes, and truffle oil (that’s a new one!). Tropical fruit fading into the distance.