Yum! There’s a bit of a disconnect between the aroma, which is very sweet and red; and the flavor, which is on the green, herbaceous side. It’s leaner and oakier than the 12, but it’s undoubtedly more mature and integrated.
Appearance: Almost indistinguishable in color from the No. 12, medium amber with a very slight greenish tint.
Nose: Nice, integrated oak and spice with lovely, bright fruit like red cherry, nectarine, and blackberry. Good mature grain character, like a well-browned multigrain flapjack dotted with salted butter. Noses very well. In comparison, No. 12 has some odd suggestions of multivitamins and artificial grape soda, with a strong cooked vegetable note.
Palate: Tons of mellow oak, dark caramel, and blood orange. Surprisingly light – intensity is about a four out of 10 – but it still presents a good amount of tannic structure. Finish is long and reminds me of Luden’s Cherry Cough Drops, which I love, plus sweet herbs like anise and mint – verging on menthol/camphor – finishing with beeswax. Unusual and delicious.