Tasting Notes Nosed straight it is complex - fresh but slightly linty; sweet but with a burnt-tangy trace - literally 'madeirised'; a trace of wood-shavings. With a drop of water, fresh black pepper emerges and a strong trace of humbugs (more than just 'toffee and mint' but having both these characteristics). Some citrus (orange particularly, perhaps peaches), and again the intriguing burnt characteristic, with some undefinable winey undertones. After a while in an open glass, deeper fruit and spice notes emerge, like Christmas cake. The flavour is 'cool' to the palate, but spicy on the tongue; fresh and citrus; sweet as it passes, but with a firm, dry finish. The winey flavours are slight, and unidentifiable: not as sweet as sherry, and with this tangy characteristic. Unless told, we doubt whether anyone would identify Madeira but once told, the puzzle is solved.