Speyside – 43%ABV – 750ml – $95 – $140 (another HUGE spread!) | £64 | €75
I have been a huge fan of madeiras for some time. Madeira, ports, nice hearty dessert wine…
I loves me a port finished dram but never had a madeira one.
Initial whiff — Spiced dried fruit (imagine a fruity pot pourri), big grapes (not like sherry. Sorry sherry heads, this is MUCH better than a sherry bomb (I.E. A’bunadh) for me), honeyed oakiness and a side of Kim Chee. Yes, there’s a slight sour & spicy cabbage smell here that I get upon the 3rd whiff. Somehow, it works and it’s nice.
On the mouth — The nose tells you what you’re going to get. I like that. The spice is pronounced here. Grapey but not overly so. It’s chewy too, almost like a spiced gum drop (an orange one, much like the High West Rendezvous Rye I tasted the other day – there’s a little citrus here).
Finish — Honeyed oak with a long spicey vanilla type deliciousness.
In sum — One thing I’d say is, as nice as this drop is, it would benefit from from a higher abv, perhaps 46%? Just to add to the spice, maybe add a bit more bite… I liken this dram to a sexy 40 something cougar. Voluptuous, sensual, spicey. This dram knows what it wants and it wants you to drink it. Seductive. Dare I say, even more so than the 21yr portwood. This dram is a hot MILF (Did I just say that?! Yes, yes I did).