Dripping with oloroso right from the get-go. All the expected deep sherry aromas present themselves richly – dates, figs, raisins, sultanas, chocolate and sticky toffee pudding (a proper one). There’s some aroma gradation here, especially after a period of resting – juicy oranges, toffee apples and polished leather. Nuttiness is high on the menu also – walnuts and almonds – and with the sweetness levels as high as they are, the almonds present rather akin to marzipan. Spicing is perceptible, but on the low down compared to the sherry aromas which grip this whisky like a vice – a touch of cinnamon at most. The addition of a little water heightens the nutty elements and adds a dash of balsamic vinegar.
Viscous, very full, and with an arrival that lets you know that Mr sherry is very much in charge here. Red fruits and berries now – raspberries and redcurrants – both heavily reduced down to syrups and jams. An assortment of dried fruits, fresher oranges, dark chocolate and leather translate across from the nose well. Nuttiness is reduced here, but balsamic takes more of a leading role offering some tartness that sits alongside a bigger cask influence – cinnamon and pepper and a slight touch of char. The spicing is quite welcome as the sherry influence here is almost cavernous, and as such rather saccharine – tingling spice adding just enough bitterness to bring some semblance of balance. A few drops of water lessens the sugar-rush, but also diminishes the spice too – the result is more perceptible woodiness.
Medium to long and still with all of the sherry – chocolate, raisins and spiced fruits – liquid Christmas cake.