Unimistakeable ruby port in the nose, reminiscent of a Black Forest chocolate cake with real brandied cherries. Far more “porty” than I expected, closer to the spirit of port than either the Glenmorangie or Balvenie port wood finishes. Under the cask, the whisky smells like a good, older Bowmore. The palate is very hot; it feels like the liquid is near-boiling, and this temperature does not abate. The finish shoes brandied cherries, Grand Marnier, dark chocolate. The addition of water is quite welcome, opening the nose to red wine and making distillery character more prominent in the palate.