As an independent bottler, Sansibar has already brought some hits to the whisky market and, in cooperation with Deinwhisky, brought out a 26 year old whisky from an undisclosed Speyside distillery, which was distilled in 1994 and currently (as of November 28, 2021) still for 164 , 90 € is available. 26 years of aging in a sherry butt, not colored, not chill-filtered, wonderful 50.2% alcohol content, 245 bottles in total, so for these general data the price is really more than fair! Depending on whether the whisky can fully convince me or not, it could be a real bargain these days.
On the nose I immediately have a spicy sweetness with black pepper sprinkled on spicy forest honey. I like that slight association with beeswax. I think of the herbs that grow on the edge of a coniferous forest. Ricola herbal sweets, which form a wonderful symbiosis with forest honey. I would have expected a lot more fruit, but here the spicy, sweet and woody aromas are clearly the main protagonists. The characteristics of the wood are much more my taste than, for example, the Aberlour 18 that I had in the glass earlier. The wood looks much better interwoven with the sweetness and doesn't have that Bauhaus wooden beam scent, which I don't really like with some whiskys. There is a slight fruitiness, but I cannot really describe it because it is difficult to grasp. I think more of dark chocolate with a raspberry filling from a well-known chocolate manufacturer than of fruit. A slightly sour note is reminiscent of the lime peel that has been mashed a little over the honey. Raisins in combination with nuts remind me of trail mix and light tannins with hints of leather are wonderfully integrated. I also imagine I can perceive a touch of saltiness. So the aroma of the whisky can definitely convince. I would have liked a little more dark fruit and a little less spiciness.
The whisky is a bit thin in the mouth at first, but then quickly becomes stronger and more intense. Honey sweetness sticks in the mouth, accompanied by the spiciness with a little sulfur (which is not at all disturbing because it is present but not too intense), pepper, oak wood and dark chocolate. The saltiness can also be felt in the mouth and goes wonderfully together with the rest of the flavors. The alcohol content is perfect in my eyes, the whisky has enough power, but is really great to drink pure and I don't feel the need to add water. A pleasant maltiness and the Ricola herbal sweets are skillfully combined with leather and coniferous forest associations.
The finish is medium to long and really successful. This honey sweetness paired with herbs, rocket candy, maltiness, caramel, a hint of saltiness and pepperiness, the waxy mouthfeel, the associations of the coniferous forest ... all these things go really well together and are present in the aroma and taste right through to the finish .
For me this is a great sherry barrel aged whisky. I heard beforehand that this whisky is much spicier than many initially hoped. But I think this combination with the forest honey sweetness and the rocket candy is very successful. For the current retail price, I can highly recommend the whisky if you like spicy-sweet whiskys and it doesn't always have to be the darkened fruit when it comes to dark sherry barrel whisky.
I gave a good 89/100 points with a tendency to 90 points.