...and this cask again is completely free of any footprint of the devil! But unfortunately it cannot match the adorable complexity and harmony of its older siblings - because it is over-aged already (too much wooden tannins). Yes, this is often the problem with 1st fill sherry casks: Both the sherry and the woods are too aggressive to the malt so it does not create a balanced and complex profile - fortunately this will change during later re-fills...
[December, 2018] I re-tasted this dram tonight and I do not find the bitter-drying moments that I encountered in my first tasting session. Most probably because I am well-rested and slept long last night. When you are tired and stressed your tastes are in an alert mode and signal bitter or other potential dangerous tastes much stronger to the (stressed) brain than usual to prevent eating something dangerous. Keep this in mind when you taste bitter or astringent drams - maybe they are great but you are exhausted (simply check them again when you are rested). Tonight I score this dram a little higher at 89 but I leave the detailed notes below as they were with the first impression.
The colour is burnt umber and the nose offers a rich and impressive sherry profile with not a single off-note or flaw. It is quite closed when neat but opens up on some water nicely. Nonetheless it stays a little boring...
The taste is both sherry and wood driven that dominate somewhat the malt flavours. Hence it is a little unbalanced and I guess this dram might have been better bottled somewhat earlier. Nevertheless a clean and enjoyable taste, for sure and I think bourbon lovers (like Jim Murray) will like this taste much more - I prefer both less tannins and less vanilla. Water smoothes the dram and makes it more approachable, I like it best when reduced to about 50% abv.
The initial mouthfeel is warming, (just a little) coating and a little peppery without any bitter or drying moments. The finish is of medium length and adds more spices that again are a little too much (for my taste). There is a slight bitter moment from the tannins towards the end that is not distracting.