Great! Immediately, smoke and sherry are present and in terrific balance. Raisins, chocolate (premium bitter cocoa), menthol, a hint of cumin, menthol and mint. In addition typical Caol Ila smoke - glowing coal briquettes on the beach. A splash of apple cider and lime juice.
Some air and longevity, and the malt gains nuances of leather and heavy oak furniture, grated walnut.
The start is immediately extremely ashy with a short peppery bite from the alcohol - So I imagine to take a piece of coal in the mouth.
With a few drops of water, the malt changes immediately, and the sherry comes through me dark dried fruit, leather, and dark chocolate. Again in really great balance with the Brennereicharakter, which in the mouth, however, weaker than in the nose. Kohlerauch, but hardly citrus and apple, subtly salty. The mouthfeel is very creamy all the time.
Very long, again very ashy with a subtle fruit.
Conclusion: Much better, such a young whisky can hardly taste. Lots of smoke and a lot of sherry, but neither overflowing, especially more complexity than I expected. The really great balance and harmony gives the malt a certain elegance, which I miss with many young sherry smokers. The sherry is often on top of it or the smoke is brutal and covering the sherry, not here.