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Nose (neat): sherry, Christmas cake, peppermint, candied apple, vanilla, cherries, licorice, banana. Very pleasant.
Taste (neat): wonderful rich, oily mouth feel, very closed off taste-wise. Mostly oak and pepper, going to let sit for another 10 or 15 minutes. Nope, still isn't opening up. Let's try a few drops of water.
Nose (water): bit more floral notes coming through, stronger vanilla, oak.
Taste (water): the water does it's job of toning down the brute force of the high abv, a teeny bit of the vanilla from the nose comes through now, but it's still mostly pepper. Slightly disappointing after such an enjoyable initial nose.