Appearance: Sugar just beginning to caramelize.
Nose: Heady and intense, with a first impression of summer rain, sea salt, and slate. This bourbon quickly opens to pineapple, cranberry, and crushed apple. Cumin, caraway and grains of paradise announce the presence of woodsy oak spice. As the senses are acclimated, a richer bouquet is revealed, with tahini, macadamia nut, leather, and roast pork.
Palate: Where the nose only hinted at oak, the palate explodes with it. There is gripping tannin, manuka honey, and the herbaceous complexity of an old world digestif. As a sip is held, it grows sweeter and mellower, tasting of French vanilla ice cream and coffee liqueur.
Finish: The fruits return as fassionola syrup, and Italian stone fruit, rounded out with roasted chestnut. It fades on hickory smoke and black pepper.
With a splash of spring water: The nose gets creamier: banana, candied lemon and jammy apricot joining the pineapple to create a tropical fruit smoothie. A touch of juiced wheatgrass lends a hoppy vibe. The palate grows spicier, with fiery cinnamon joined by juniper berry and catnip before fading on chewing tobacco.