If I had been blindfolded and given this single malt from Taiwan I would have bet my first born that this was a bourbon from Heaven Hill. No questions about it!
The first thing to draw your attention is the deep burgundy color sitting inside the bottle which immediately causes you to salivate uncontrollably. Such is the allure in the eyes alone.
The heavy sherried nose is bursting with dark autumn fruits - plums, berries and humungous red grapes. The fruits are then reduced in a mixture of red wine and sugar and then poured on top of a soft gooey chocolate fudge cake. As the glistening syrup trickles down the side a few slices of over-ripe bananas, sprinkled with coconut dust, are layered on top to complete the presentation.
Intense black peppers on the tongue is the first thing you notice. But before you have time to wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of joy, I might add, blackberry laced maple syrup swoops in takes you to a very special Christmas memory. A touch of leather, black currants and berries adds yet another layer of delicious complexity.
The mammoth woody finish has a touch of anis but that is rounded off by the overpowering jaggery that rushes in at the end.
There are few times when a whisky will leave me speechless. This was one of them.