This is the last of the samples I ordered from Master of Malt. The only other Bruichladdich expression I have tasted is the Links, St. Andrews The Old Course. I found it quite good. If this whisky compares to the other, but with more age and finished in an Oloroso Sherry cask, then it should be quite excellent!
This expression is bottled at 46% ABV.
Nose: Not overly aromatic, but not quite "closed." Typical soft Islay malt: sea air, floral, a hint of smoke, with a note of berry fruits at the back. Lilac.
Palate: Mmmm... A touch of sweet sherry wafts onto the tongue, as the sea salt wakes up the sides of the mouth. Quite spicy on the sides of the tongue.
Finish: The sherry is there on the finish, which is quite long. A bit of sea salt, and a faint hint of smoke? Very faint.
Well, this is tasty, and I surely wouldn't turn down a free glass, but it didn't capture my imagination and send me to a whole new world. It was "as advertised", I suppose. There will be those who love it, because it is a superbly crafted malt, but it did not do anything magical for me.
For a 21yr Oloroso Sherry finished whisky from Bruichladdich, I was expecting something similar to Highland Park 18yr or perhaps even the 25yr. However, this is nothing of the sort. Big sea spray with a touch of sherry influence, with hardly a faint hint of smoke. And the smoke could just be my imagination. Take the nose of Tobermory 10yr, add the spiciness of Isle of Jura 10yr, and then finish that vatting in an Oloroso Sherry cask. Marry it together and there you have Bruichladdich 21yr Oloroso. I wouldn't pay more than $45 for a bottle.