...and thanks to the whisky gods this is a sample only. Despite a very dark colour this dram offers marginal sherry flavours only both in the nose and on the palate - as if the sherry does not dare to show up. Quite unusual, upon reduction with water just the malt flavours open up and the sherry prefers to stay in the background (I never had this before, at least I do not remember). Interesting to experience (once) but this is not my preferred drinking profile...
The colour is very dark at mahogany and the nose offers a modern sherry profile that is quite closed due to the high abv. It does not really open up upon breathing so I have to add some water, finally. The malt aromas are the first to pop up after the reduction and the distant whiff of sulphur in the neat nose now gets stronger (but still not unpleasant, rather like sulphured raisins). The sherry aromas do not show up even after a significant reduction which is very strange, to be honest.
The taste of the neat dram is very closed and shy too - neither the sherry nor the malt flavours dare to show up on the scene. Just the bitter wooden tannins enter the stage and turn the dram rather unpleasant. After adding some water the sherry stays in the background but the malty flavours enter the spotlight.
The dram arrives hot (59.6% abv) and a little coating on the palate with a minor bitter-drying mouthfeel (tannins). The finish is long and turns to the bitter side (heavy tannins at work). This is reduced by a fair share of water but now the taste of the dram flattens