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Alongside the bourbon matured Sunray, Diageo also launched this Tailfire. The difference is not in price, nor ABV. Those are the same for both bottlings. As is the color, but that has more to do with E150a, I suppose. The maturation is different, though. Where the Sunray matured solely on ex bourbon casks, this Tailfire is a mix of bourbon and sherry casks.
The influence of the sherry casks is immediately discernable on the nose. Next to honey and almonds, I also get some walnuts and hazelnuts and red fruit. Fresh krieks, dried figs and some sultanas. Vanilla and a bit of liquorice. A hint of white chocolate as well. If you wait long enough, it even gets mildly umami, which is quite nice.
Round and mouthcoating, almost creamy arrival on the palate. Immediately a basket full of red and blue berries, candied fruit and some nuts. The krieks return, albeit in stewed shape this time around. Cinnamon. Even a whiff of saffron. Turns very sweet, though.
The finish is medium long on berries and spices with even a bit of a smoky finale.
The difference with the Sunray is quite clear. This one is much better. A nice addition of red and dark fruit and a wonderful finish. Again eminently quaffable and friendly priced, so if I had to make a choice, I would take this Tailfire home.