The nose gives a warm embrace like an old acquaintance. There are blood orange madeleines covered with desiccated coconut and freshly cut figs on the side. Then a fizzy quality reminiscent of citrus sherbet and Love Hearts candy, with cherry liqueur and chocolate bitters. One panellist was reminded of fine antiques and silverware (Brasso, beeswax). The taste brings rich vanilla pods, Madeira cake, Jamaica ginger cake spread with marmalade. The antique furniture theme continues with hazelnut oil, chocolatey tobacco and nutmeg.
Water sees us taking a walk in Edinburgh’s Botanic Gardens. A farmhouse table offers banana bread, satsumas, rice pudding with strawberry jam and lime marmalade on buttered toast. There is also a waxy note as fragrant candles flicker. The taste is now refreshing, with peach and apricot yogurt, watermelon and honey, and a mouthful of lemon sponge cake. Burns himself might have called this Armagnac a ‘right gude-willie waught’ – or a hearty drink taken in goodwill.