Rivesaltes is a vin doux naturel, a natural sweet (fortified) wine, from the french Pyrennes. Whereas similarities to sherry exist, it is not sherry.
Nose:1309 is more lucious, rich, sweet with a lot of raisins and 1308 is more dry. The nose of 1309 doesn't give away the high alcohol volume, whereas it shines through in the taste but not as much as one would expect.
Taste: 1309 is chewy and grapy and sweet with alcohol power. 1308 is much more towards the drier side with some yellow fruit and a hint of beef stock. Both are slightly wineny in a very pleasant way.
Finish: 1309 is quite similar from nose to finish. No big surprises and not many nuances. 1308 has more peaks and valleys and catches up in the finish and renders a beautiful fruity surprise of yellow fruits.
There is similarity and difference. You can tell the whiskies are related but developed different expertises.
Can't say that I have a definite winner, but I probably would go for the peaks and valleys of 1308 compared to the "flowing" 1309, whose nose is probably its best feature.
Both are bing, bang, boom modern bottlings but on a very high level. More of it, please.
from a sample