The panel was quickly transported to a patisserie for afternoon tea: tea-chests, strawberry and sherry trifle, pineapple tart and Battenburg cake were the star attractions, followed by Danish pastries and toasted almonds, served with fresh cream. The neat taste was deliciously sweet; fruit salad and Cranachan with boozy (brandy) whipped cream, scrumpy cider and an apple aftertaste. The reduced nose became even more creamy with condensed milk, Muller Corner yoghurt, vanilla and blueberry muffins. Strawberry tarts and pastry sliced through the cream. The reduced palate had more creamy vanilla, with a spicy and fruity edge – root beer float, ginger and cream soda and bramble wine. Choux pastry cream teas (loose-leaf English tea) lingered into the aftertaste. The distillery, built in 1974, was the first of the Singleton range.
Given how much the character of the society bottles seems to change with a little air, we'll taste it now and then again in a week or so, and see how the profiles vary.
Nose: lots of fruity flowery sweetness with brown sugar. I got healthy doses of sweet tea - the good southern kind, while JD insists upon strawberry-type-sweetness. A bit of vanilla as well, and perhaps the tiniest medicinal scent.
Taste: This one has a lot of sting, especially for a 19 year old. I started to agree with the sweet strawberry notes on tasting, and the aftertaste is almost minty or cinnamonny. Overall it matched the smell, but harsher.
Nose: much warmer - JD says it reminds him of an old wardrobe (I think he's still wishing we had gotten Narnia). It reminds me of my mother's old volkswagon - sunwarmed, and the tiniest bit of dust. There are still the sweet overtones, but they are much less pronounced, and some spicy notes (paprika? cardamon?) sneak in.
Taste: all of the sting is removed with just a little water and the scotch becomes extremely smooth - practically chuggable, but still with a nice warmth. The best description we could come up with is: a marzipan bear-claw. It finishes with a long slow burn that hints of dark cherries.
More details to come after the bottle has had some time to breathe - so far this is my favorite society bottle!