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Spice Tree @Day 0, 2012-04-02
I was fortunate enough to try a dram of this whilst visiting Baranow's Lounge in Melbourne around Easter this year (2012). I won't go into details of the cask / maturation process and/or the legal issues surrounding their first release as others out there have amply commented on the subject.
As this is a "one off" tasting in a bar environment, I have not given a detailed break down of score but rather will provide a score rounded to the nearest 5 points based on my recollection and notes taken at the time.
The Spice Tree is bottled at 46% ABV and is non-chill filtered. It has fantastic legs in the glass! I note that the bottle level was very high (to the shoulder of the bottle) so chances are that it is nicely "opened up" but not detrimentally oxidised.
Nose: Cinnamon, cream, Christmas cake, rum and raisin, vanilla, brown sugar. Huge nose. Sweet and spicy.
Taste: Spicy tingle upon arrival, big juicy citrus, cherries, raisins again, cloves, vanilla pod, spiced honey. Excellent oils and mouthfeel. With water: More woody spices.
Finish: Spices, very warm, lingering, red fruits (cherries, berries) in a dry finish.
Balance: Fantastic melding of spice, fruit and malt sweetness. Very "moreish" and very big.
This is a dram I will never forget! The quality and quantity of spices and Christmas cake notes and superb, luscious, big mouthfeel makes for a memorable experience. I wish I had a bottle in my cabinet!