I thank The Barreliers for the complimentary sample.
The nose starts off with lots of vanilla, followed by delicious plum jam and a touch of toffee. Lingering citric notes arrive, nicely mixed with a hint of oak spice in the back. The alcohol is noticeable but not pungent at all.
Bold and intense on the palate due to the high alcohol content. Then sweet vanilla, nicely mixed with some oranges, lemons and a whiff of coconut flavour. Fairly spicy on the mid palate with pepper, oak and ginger. Notes of creamy vanilla return towards the finish.
The finish is long, warm and creamy with vanilla and slightly bitter orange peel. Becomes drier on the tail with oak and a touch of black pepper.
With water: There's more oaky notes coming through on the nose when a splash of water is added. Still sweet with vanilla, followed by fresh notes of citrus in the back. Very sweet and fruity on the palate with vanilla and plum compote, accompanied with white pepper, oak spice and a hint of bitter oranges. Less warming. The finish is a bit shorter but still creamy with vanilla mixed with blood oranges. Becomes dry with oak, tannins and pepper.