This HP is certainly not bad; the bitter oak isn't entirely offset by the yeasty wash. Bready doughy chewy. Hmm. It's unique, and not a typical HP by any stretch: no smoked peat . . . but there is some peaty water from Orkney.
I said virgin oak due to the spicy, peppery heat in the mouth. It's not just the ABV. It seems rather tannic to the point of bringing mace to mind. A load from the spice islands smuggled along with sea ropes and twine tying hessian cloth sacks in which to carry the pungent husks.
If younger, this dram would have seemed more green and pithy around the gills. But it's 14 years old and so that problem is solved. Despite this outcome, I would call this whisky a conundrum.
To quote Poe:
“He did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.”
“The wine sparkled in his eyes.”
"A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong. ”
Take it or leave it, sherry or no. Would I buy another bottle? Nein. Nichts. Nichto. Would I drink a glass at a friend's house after my bottle runs dry? Why, yes. If there wasn't anything else more interesting.
At a whisky heathen's house with a shelf full of boring OB's lining the wall, or packing an otherwise fudgey cabinet, a pour from this bottle would taste sufficiently magickal to be dubbed a delightfully ichorous elixir.