In my old rating system (ten scales that translate into WB points: 50 - 66 - 75 - 80 - 82,5 - 85 - 87,5 - 90 - 92,5 - 95) I scored it 92,5. My notes state one of the best modern sherry profiles I had so far. Absolutely clean, flawless and suberbly balanced.
[January, 2020] A long time ago I had this dram and scored it very high and I am curious if I still like it that much almost eight years (and thousands of drams) later...
...no, I do not. This is an easy quaffable but otherwise uninteresting modern sherried whisky with significant bourbon-alike impressions (so Jim scored it astonishing 96,5 points many years ago). A nice dram for Bourbon lovers but for traditional Scotch malt aficionados like me rather unimpressive.
The colour is auburn and the nose offers exactly this modern sherry profile most sherry whiskies own. Back in 2012 this was new and interesting but now I find it rather boring. I had too much of such stuff over the last decade and despite it is flawless and balanced I am not excited anymore. This nose is average, at best...
The taste is nicely layered on all three malt, sherry and bourbon flavours in fine balance. It turns dark chocolatey upon chewing with some spices and toffee. Not bad but again nothing special these days. Easy quaffable, no doubt. Water releases stronger bourbon aromas both in the nose and on the palate but it flattens the dram, too. I like the neat dram best.
The dram arrives warming but almost not coating on the palate with a minor drying feeling (tannins). The finish is of medium length and turns more bourbon-ish (I guess that is why Jim rated this dram very high) so if you like Bourbon you will enjoy it very much, most probably - unfortunately I do not.