Nose: a bit of water helps open this up, but it still doesn't offer much. Vague, creamy malt, a touch of matchbook striker. Elusive, to say the least.
Taste: Fairly rich on the tongue, but again not well-defined. It isn't fruity, or malty, or smoky. No vanilla or honey or florals. Just a lightly sulfurous, rather generic flavour. Not exactly bad, but...
Finish: Grainy and short.
Balance: well this was a letdown, especially for the price. I took a chance on it, given the good reviews and World Whisky Award medals. There's nothing offensive about it, but it lacks any sort of character. Which is surprising considering the 50% malt content and 50% ABV. Something tells me Craigallechie is a main component here.
After yet another tasting, I would say that sherry and sulfur dominate the flavour. Not bad sulfur, however. Not pungent or sour, but rather mild like a matchbook. This is a tough whisky to figure out. It's main charm is its rich body and creamy mouthfeel. Which is actually ideal for a blend. Maybe I'm judging it more like a malt. Must be the price.