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Here's Batch 2015-01, the first batch of this year. Booker's is calling it "Big Man, Small Batch." It's been matured for 7 years, 2 months and 16 days (well that's being specific). Let's try it next to Batch 2014-01, the famous (and extremely rare) 25th Anniversary bottling. I should note that both bottles have been open - and are in their last fifth - for quite some time.
The colour is a deep reddish copper. On the nose, deep dark black cherries, mint and nutmeg. There is a vanilla here but it's peeking out from behind antique furniture, dusty bookshelves and pencil shavings. Orange pith. Very herbal. Beautifully oaky. Dustier - and more herbal - with water. This one throbs.
More citrusy on the palate, with lemon and orange working side by side. Mouth-drying with all that oak and alcohol! More cherry with black liquorice, sage, balsamic, walnut and blackberries. A drop of water makes it almost syrupy - in a good way! Extremely complex and powerful, yet always elegant.
The finish is deep and dark, very robust with rye spice, cigar ash, more black liquorice and mint. Very long and dry. More refined than that big bruiser of 2014, which slapped you in the face and kicked you in the ass (which was over 10 years old)! Not quite as spectacular either but hey that's less a complaint than a reminder of just how extraordinary and one-of-a-kind that 25th Anniversary bottling was. Still, 2015-01 is another great Booker's, staying strong and classy.