NOSE : Utterly compelling, as immediate traces of spent match and peppery spice rise above clear maritime notes of brine and seaweed, to introduce a sweet, soft malty layer of fresh-baked bread and ripe red fruits with a hint of fresh planed wood. Overall tangy, mineral and savoury. Later, there are touches of honey, creamy toffee, peat, wood smoke, salt and ozone. Finally, faint bonfire ash and soaring pine resin. Water softly reduces the spice, adding a thread of tarry smoke, as that underlying maltiness grows richer.
PALATE : Really well-balanced, with a soft, smooth texture. The taste is first sweet, then salty and slightly honeyed, then savoury – rather like beefy, highly seasoned homemade potato chips – before giving way to glorious dark chocolate laced with chilli pepper. With water it’s softer, yet still wonderfully sweet and honeyed, still perfectly balanced, with that engaging savoury, chilli development.
FINISH : Sublime. Long, warming and unmistakable. Hotsmoked and minty, with later hints of wood ash, dark chocolate ginger and beach tar. Growing cooler, with subdued, late chilli heat and a last, lingering savoury smokiness. With water, pure sweet honeyed smoke, leaving a breath of peat and a lick of late salt.