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Lovely dark mahogany colour with long legs in glass.
Nose: typical JD aromas but punched to a different level with the extra ABV, banana, caramel vanilla and wood char.
Palate: caramel, wood and spice with too much alcohol bite, the balance and integration of the spirit is off, a little water helps with the bite but does no favours to the wood which gets an astringent bitter edge.
Finish: warming all the way with the alcohol heat but not a lot of the flavour carrying through.
Found the single barrel too be more to my taste, I manage bourbons to 55ABV without water regularly but do not enjoy the bite in this variant, still a massive improvement on No.7.