... and it does. This is a clean heavy first-fill sherry maturation at the edge of getting too wood-driven after five years already. There is not much left of the malt but the sherry is pretty fine and compensates for that easily. Very quaffable if you like sherry monsters with a chocolatey profile but I strongly advice to add some water because it really improves both the nosing and drinking experience greatly (a 2-3 points difference).
The colour is very dark at mahogany and the nose offers a clean modern sherry profile with strong but not (too) dominating wooden notes. I do not catch any malt-induced aromas in there but both the sherry and the wood team up for a delicious combo. The nose is quite punchy due to the high abv but some water takes this away and opens up the nose nicely. Water is essential on this nose, no doubt and it releases some malt aromas this way, finally.
The taste offers no malt impressions either but a fine mix of sherry and wood-driven flavours. Upon chewing it turns a little bitter on waxy notes and tannins, I think this dram cries for water.Ooh yes, now it gets interesting! The taste turns very chocolatey both on milk and dark notes with raisins, plums, oranges and more. This is good for additional three points so my score on this dimension goes up from 88 to astonishing 91 points. So do not fool yourself with a strict neat-only drinking and try a reduction to about 45-48% abv.
The dram arrives hot (57.8% abv) and coating on the palate with some bitter-astringent moments from heavy tannins. The finish is very long and adds interesting earthy and tobacco flavours. No distracting bitter or astringent impressions here, this was bottled right at the edge of getting too woody. After reduction the finish stays on the tasty chocolatey side virtually endless, wow - this is great (again a 2-3 points improvement over the neat dram).