This wonderful 625 bottle expression from Ian Macleod’s Chieftain’s range was matured in a sherry butt and bottled non chill-filtered at cask strength. The Nose: Huge, wonderful, sherried nose. Rich chocolate brownies, Pedro Ximenez Jerez Dulce, Juicy stewed raisins, sweetened fig spread, thick malt. More subtle notes of blackberry compote, marzipan, and “library notes”, that is, polished oak and worn leather. With a bit of water, more floral notes emerge and the thick, sherried sweetness is softened a bit. The Palate: A desert wine sweetness to start, vin santo and rum-raisin cake, which is quickly swept away by a huge, spicy wave of semi-sweet chocolate and bold malt. The palate is just full of earthy, round spice; clove, nutmeg, star anise and black pepper, but it’s balanced by the ever-present, lush sherried sweetness. A tickle of peat smoke towards the end lends a nice counterpoint. A bit of water calms the spice down and deepens the sweetened grain quality. The Finish: A few more drying tannins appear as this finishes. The sherry sweetness and spicyness continues, more black pepper, clove and nutmeg along with that faint hint of peat smoke.