Yeeeahhhh, this is excellent. This is like a smoky hot chocolate with dried berries and grilled meat and spices. Who can say no to that? I feel like I should be enjoying this outdoors with mittens and earmuffs.
Nose: Wooh, I could smell this one from across the room. Thick, heavy peat, reminding me most closely of Ardbeg or Kilchoman, though I’m not finding much of a briny note. Bacon, creosote, barnyard, and beef jerky. The port notes do come through strongly. There’s brown sugar, banana, lack licorice, wine gums, and grape Pixie Stix. There’s this real earthy-sweet almost autumnal character that comes out with time: apple cider, smoked paprika, roast nuts, peppermint, and honey. A hint of dried blueberries and raspberries, maybe some cherries as well. All encased in dark chocolate, perhaps?
Palate: Warming and silky texture. Arrives sweet-tart with apple, applewood, berry, grape candy, and a mineral note. As the smoke builds, this charred pastry note emerges, along with more grape, peach, and candied citrus. Develops to heavy spiced peat smoke, with Band-Aids and that Ardbeg-y earthy character. There’s a smoky horseradish note right in the middle, but it’s fresh horseradish, which, if you’ve never had it, is much sweeter and earthier than the pickled stuff. Sweet woodsmoke next, then beef jerky and black pepper. It resolves to lots of earthy chocolatey notes, with some blackberry. There’s this earthy dried-leaves character than underlies everything, as well as a sort of cooked fruit base.
Finish: Grape, apple, molasses, peat smoke (more coastal here), Band-Aids, and tobacco. A bit of a carbolic, gasoline sort of note. More of a cranberry character to the berries. A touch of cinnamon and potpourri. Wow, here’s a specific triggered memory: on Passover, it’s customary to eat a sandwich composed of raw horseradish and charoset, which is a sort of apple-wine-nut-spices chutney kind of thing, in between two pieces of matzah (the hand-made kind, which tastes like old leather). Maybe this finish isn’t exactly that, but that’s what it reminds me of. Lingering smoked chili, ginger, green tea, and raspberry.