...and it is okay if you like the modern young-wine-seasoned sherry casks maturations. The resulting profile of such maturations is rather simple with a dominance of sour winey aromas both in the nose and on the palate. The good news about this dram is that the powerful HP profile manages to enhance the taste to an easy and enjoyable drink. Nothing special about it, but nothing wrong about it either. Okay for fifty bucks given today's crazy price levels.
The colour is burnished and the nose offers the sour-winey profile of a modern sherry maturation when the casks were seasoned with cheap young (unmatured) wine (as it never saw a solera system I personally refuse to call this sherry, but legally it is). Not that many malt aromas manage to break through this impressive wall of young winey flavours, and the few that do need quite some time (of oxidation) to show up. To be honest, this nose smells more like a high-proof wine than a malt whisky.
The taste is much better with more malt-driven flavours joining the young wine. Now I can identify the famous Highland Park profile and the malt does a great job to enhance the rather uninteresting sherry impressions. The wood if appropriate and provides a firm structure but never tries to dominate. This is easy drinkable stuff, not worth a detailed exploration but very nice to sip when focussing on different things (with good friends).
The dram arrives warming and a little coating on the palate without distracting moments. The finish is of medium length and and turns more to the bitter-herbal-wooden side. Towards the end this dram dries out a little but this is not a major deal. Water does not change a lot in the nose and turns the taste more punchy and flat at the same time. So forget about any reduction.