...and this is not the sherry monster which buries all other flavours beneath the winey dominance - and this is great (to me)! All three malt, wine and wood are in a fine balance and contibute their share to a tasty experience which starts modern-stylish but turns more and more to an old-style profile over time. Without these minor sulphurous off-notes this would have been a 90 points score, for sure. It proves the best age of balanced and delicious sherried drams seems to be around 21-years of maturation (using refill casks), again. I prefer this over most of the sherry monsters which are very impressive the first sip but then add nothing more of interest (just my personal preference, sorry).
The colour is burnished and the nose offers a sour-sweet modern sherry profile which is not that bad, actually. The typical Glenburgie malt flavours manage to break through the sherry dominance and the wood is firm but very appropriate. After some breathing the malt-driven aromas (florals, fruits, waxes) grow stronger while the sherry retreats somewhat - hey, this is a great changing of the guards! Unfortunately, there is a minor sulphurous off-note but it is not as annoying as with most other sulphur-spoiled drams, it rather reminds me of sulphured raisins.
The taste is nicely layered with sweet and bitter flavours in good balance and the sulphur is contained in raisins, again (luckily). The wood provides a firm backbone but never dominates the taste. After some chewing tasty nutty flavours pop up (walnuts, almonds and the like) as do oily and waxy impressions. This taste started with a modern profile but this changed more and more to an old-style one over time, I like that! Despite the minor sulphurous flaw this dram is both quaffable and interesting to explore, without that flaw I would score it 90+ points (most probably).
The initial mouthfeel is warming and coating with a minor drying impression that is not distracting (I guess it is the sulphur, surely not tannins). The finish is long and adds a lot more of the delicious nutty impressions which turn the finish a little to the bitter side, but it is a tasty bitterness (provided you like nuts). The sweet sherry and barley sugars contain these bitter impressions nicely and the drying moments are to neclect (according to my taste buds). Again, the sulphur is not too distracting but it adds a little to the bitterness. Water increases the sulpurous off-notes significantly so guess what: I prefer the neat dram!