Nose: At first, the nose appears a little bit closed—soft vanilla and cream soda atop a deep backdrop of polished oak. After a few minutes, a richer, darker side begins to reveal itself. There’s char and smoke, caramel and dark spice, and just-the-right-edge-of-burnt popcorn, like a wood-powered kettlecorn machine. A little more nosing reveals a gentle suggestion of something fruity—concord grape, maybe?—and a warm note of sandalwood. A few drops of water increases the amplitude of the aroma, bringing out dill, fruit salad, and toasted grain.
Palate: Deeply roasty, with lovely rich notes of char, roasted corn, citrus pith, sandalwood, toasted nuts, leather, and smoke. The finish is long and warming, with a nice raisin-like quality.Again, a little water opens up things considerably, bringing out some sweetness as well as bitter orange, lemon zest, more caramel and spice, and an almost sherried nuttiness. It reminds me a little of a Manhattan cocktail made with amaro instead vermouth.