If only this was a bit more affordable...
Huh. I'd expected this to be more noticeably sherried, but both the color and the nose say otherwise. Instead of loading up on Oloroso (a widespread approach among 18-year-old distillery bottlings), the folks at Bacardi/Aultmore have opted for a lighter, fresher character, which is a welcome change. This mainly unfolds on floral, grassy, herbal and citric aromas, with a delicate sweet-and-sour balance and a real sense of freshness. The wood only provides the softest of spices. Really good - I'm almost tempted to call this "beautiful" - even though most whisky buyers would probably expect something "heavier" and more substantial at 18 years of age.
Wow: really thick and oily. Love the mouthfeel. Rarely had such viscosity at 46%. Impressive flavor-wise as well: An avalanche of herbs and honeys (I'm using the plural for a reason here; it really feels "layered" rather than shallow) with impeccable balance between sweet and tart notes (the acidity is way less prominent than on the nose). Crisp bourbon-matured aromas mingle with just enough refill sherry notes to provide a sense of nutty creaminess. There's even some unexpected chocolate to be found.
Beautiful (there, I said it) coffee notes, mild astringency and tart herbs with a distant vegetal funk. Classy stuff.