...the sample I picked is a true sherry monster! Starting from the very dark colour over to the wine-driven nose, the bitter-astringent mouthfeel and the lush winey-wooden taste everything of this dram reminds me more of a high-proof old sherry than a malt whisky - but to be honest: It is delicious and enjoyable. This stuff is not made to be quaffed in larger measures but it is fun to a small dram from time to time - a very good choice for an advent calendar.
PS: Anyone who tries this dram and cannot comprehend the "sherry monster" please leave me a short message, I am too curious about the potential mislabelling...
The colour is very dark at brown sherry and the nose offers a rich old-style sherry profile with still some malt aromas surviving this heavy wall of wine flavours. The wood is firm but not dominating so this truly is a good sherry monster's nose. No flaw or off-note that I can find but certainly this is not balanced - but I do not care as long as it is such a fine old oloroso sherry profile. It is very enjoyable to sniff provided you like heavy sherry dominance and from time to time I do, like tonight.
The taste is that of an old sherry monster too with lush winey-wooden flavours rolling over my taste buds in different waves. The malt flavours are completely overwhelmed by the sherry and wood but after some chewing they send shy vital signals, worth to explore. Nonetheless, this tastes rather like a thick and high-powered sherry wine concentrate with a strong wooden backing than a single malt whisky. I like it, but I do not ask for a second dram tonight because this profile is simply too spiky and uncompromising to my taste buds.
The initial mouthfeel is warming but not very much coating with a significant but not unpleasant bitter-astringent side of heavy sherried tannins. The wood is a borderline case in this dimension so an earlier bottling would have been better, no doubt. The finish is medium to long with again a bitter-astringent side which is not as strong as with the first mouthfeel, maybe my taste buds adapted to this in the meantime. Water helps to unlock some more malt aromas and flavours but at the same time this dram looses a fair share of its charm as a "sherry monster". I like the neat dram best.