It's almost a political issue somehow. Already in the run-up, almost the advertised price was more important than quality and taste. So let's start there. Similar to the 12-year-old Slyrs, who appeared some time ago for 190, - EUR, is of course also discussed at Glen Els 'X' for 169, - EUR, the question "may" a 10-year-old malt, also from Germany to be offered in this price region? In absolute terms, a lot of money for a 10-year-old, no question. As we know, the Japanese or Taiwanese have little inhibition about praising a comparatively young malt. And the Scottish distilleries? Devil's Cask III, MAC Ruby, Bruichladdich Octomores ... well. Maybe a control consideration. 1,050 liters of distillate were bottled in 2006 in 4 Sherry Hogsheads, after 7 years, the remaining malt was transferred to 3 of the Hoggies to at least a little limit the further loss. Half of it, ie 750 bottles or 525 liters of whisky, has become 10 years later. Approximately 6-6.5% real angel's share. Significantly more than the usual loss in the Scottish climate. Not really uncommon but for above-ground storage in the continental climate in Germany or Switzerland. The increased share speeds up the maturation process, as we know it from Kavalan. But this also increases the cost of the distillery not insignificant. In Scotland, assuming an annual share of 2%, a similar loss would only occur after more than 30 years of storage. At least you should keep in mind. And otherwise? Original bottling, age, classy, dark PX sherry, valued presentation including wooden box, limited edition with a total of only 750 bottles, the first real 10 of the small distillery. All value-creating factors that would also boost the price in Scotland. Whether 169, - EUR issue price is the "right" price, of course, I can not judge. But ultimately does not matter. Either the market will take it or not, and it seems to be very well received. I chose 3 different glass types in the set-up, the Glencairn as "standard", the long-stemmed Bugatti, because for me it's been the optimal Glen Els glass and the Riedel Vinum, which ruthlessly reveals all nuances in the nose - positive as well as negative , In addition, I picked up a few notorious sherries of the past as a reference from the shelf. Macallan 18yo, 1978, Glen Grant Vibtage 1960, Tullibardine 9yo TWCh, Glengoyne 25yo, 46% GTR and last but not least the already mentioned Slyrs 12yo as German representative. I have deliberately not specifically selected pure PX bearings. It is all about the question, does he like ME in this strong environment similarly good, better or worse. Eye / Nose: Dark mahogany brown tone. The nose starts fantastic. Since I have poured several Drams for comparison, the fragrance spreads by itself. Mild honey notes, breakfast cake, sugar beet syrup, licorice, plum jam, raisins, almonds, all framed by a light, tingling alcohol note, that's how it should be. Terrific. Palate: Extremely creamy it acts. With a honey-like mouth-filling sweetness. Raisins, dates and dried apricots. Almost 50% full-bodied alcohol is present and 'breaks' the pleasant sweetness before it becomes unpleasant. Again lead almond and honey notes, on the palate, however, spices such as cardamom and a breeze of nutmeg are added, oak flavors are noticeable and form with a certain dryness a little contrast to the sweet character, however, remain overall discreetly in the background, no unpleasant bitterness. Finish: A long finish that absorbs the almond and honey flavors from the palate and nose, leaving it smoothly towards the end. Conclusion: All around successful malt from very active PX barrels. No formal weakness, such as sulfur or other real flaws, recognizable. I'm sure that over the years I have had only a few whiskys from Germany in the glass at a similar level, and I bravely try everything I can get at home-made malts. Am I biased? The difficult question of the never existing 'objectivity'. From the Hammerschmiede belong the Alriks Pearl Jubilee and Mittwinter to my favorites. The sweeter Black Morbow I found as a dessert Malt superb, various strong Málaga maturations were great ... but that is contrary to the artist editions I-IV, I tended to rather weak, the Endless Summer as well. The Black Haven Dawn was too round for me, too little characteristic to play in the front. It's just like most distilleries, especially my Scottish highlights. Many things are good, some awesome and some things just do not meet my taste so 100%. Buy more? Yes I will. Sensational nose, very rounded, balanced taste, long, gentle finish, classic PX notes from A to Z and no miss notes. Everything fits together. However, I also suspect that the peak has now been reached. I can not really imagine a 12 or even 18-year-old Glen Els in the style of the X flavor. What I can perfectly imagine, however, would be an Alrik X. Let's say a kind of 10-year-old Pearl Jubilee ... And the comparison with the other subjects? The Slyrs 12, a nice malt for me personally and by far the best Slyrs has ever released, goes down a bit in the comparison field. The Glengoyne looks almost a bit harsh in direct comparison, but has more power in the finish. Like the X, the Tulli 9 looks a little overherried, so I think he likes it so much. The two are as far apart as Oloroso and PX. And that is precisely what makes them not unlike in their kind. Solitaire, uncompromisingly violent, exactly my thing. Both the 1978 MAC 18 and the old Glen Grant 1960 are superior to the X in complexity, seem even more complex. But the X is pretty close. Unexpectedly close, if I'm honest with myself. Big cinema. And the said Macallan, we do not want to forget that, IMHO also gives a Bruichladdich 21 Oloroso - I think great per se - no real chance. Oh well ... I recommend the X to drink from a simple Glencairn or a Classic Malt glass, fit perfectly.