The nose held dark, brooding sherry aromas – prunes, syrup of figs, molasses and marmite – also some lighter impressions (plums, black grapes, damson jam, cocoa powder and spices). Some of us imagined a motor museum, others an artist’s studio. After reduction, we got sacks of raisins and bouquets of black orchids and tulips. The neat flavour was supremely intense – treacle, cinder toffee, ginger cake, liquorice root, maraschino cherries, strawberry jelly cubes and chocolate sauce. With water, despite a faint hint of old-fashioned telephone flex, this was an immensely tasty Pandora’s box of a dram – dark, but full of secret pleasures.