Quite spirity... burns my nostrils a bit from the get go. After a few whiffs, it becomes rounder, more warming. After a couple minutes, definitely more pleasant. After five minutes, some fruits are coaxed out. It's not unique, but not bad so far. Sherried, but not super sherried, which is a win in my book. However, the Clynelish highland spirit is still a bit drowned out.
Oh, this is definitely very sherried. It's rather good, but it's a tad all over the place initially. The cohesiveness needs a bit of work.. I'm somewhat surprised this is 21 years old. Unfortunately, the Clynelish waxy, fruity notes are still quite obscured. With just a few drops of water, it becomes better for sure... more defined, more clear, more focused, more fruity. Went from 89 to 90. If I had a bottle (I bought a sample), I probably would play with water more, to see if I could get it to where it needs to be. Still, this is a very good dram, but that doesn't mean I'm not disappointed.
I contemplated bidding on this in auction because of the pedigree of the two men who chose this cask, but it's probably a good thing I didn't. Quality-wise, I would not pay more than $250 USD for this, and this would have cost me more than twice as much in auction. Relax... don't chase!
Looking at the overall score of this in WB, again, this is right on! It's an 89-90 pointer for me.