Nose: Ginger, citrus, tweed, paprika, black pepper, becomes very deep with smoky vanilla. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but the oak is very noticeable – polished wood, like an expensive bookcase. More masculine and intense than the old Artisan, but you’d expect that from the higher abv. Water opens up more sweet notes, natural caramel or butter toffee.
Palate: Carries on from the nose. Big, assertive and very bourbony. Exceptionally spicy & peppery but with compensating sweet creamy vanilla. Big mouth-filling weight – quite macho. With water, much more approachable though still very spicy
Finish: Immense. Very long and warming, with tingling spices that last an eon. My mouth was still burning (in a good way) several minutes after the swallow.