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Was at a festival recently, my first, and amongst some absolute crackers, such as an indi Port Charlotte 12, a 42 single grain Invergordon, Glengoyne 21 and an indi bottling of Octomore, this one still stood up proudly. So much so that of all the bottles I'd tried, and could afford, I picked up this one. The Benromach 15 being very close on its heels. It was, to quote Lou Reed ' . . .such a perfect day'.
My last sherry 'bomb' cask strength was the A'Bunadh, probably from around 2014/15 batch 49 iirc/. It was my first CS whisky and was a novel and enjoyable experience but found it needed lots of water to get past the nip. It beefed up the 10 considerably though.
On the nose, sherry; dry, sweet and woody. Lots of spice that I'm guessing comes from the European oak? Cinnamon, clove, that kind of thing. Less alcoholic than you'd imagine and I was very impressed on first contact. With water and time a vanilla cream note comes in, some coffee, a touch of milky chocolate - white? - and that adorable damp earth dunnage note you seem to get from GF. A wisp of smoke perhaps?
Taste wise; sweet and dry. More fruity than the nose. Red berries/fruit but more fresh than dried although there's a touch of the latter. Starts to dry the mouth and turn sour but in a very pleasant way. The spices start to kick in as well. Needs a little water for me to get at it but still enjoyable, if concentrated, neat. Mouth feel is thick and moreish.
The finish is fairly long and the dry spice notes linger with a lovely mouth coating, almost cloying, fruitiness.
Well worth the purchase (around £50) and very good vfm. I think I prefer this dryer style of sherry influence to the more sweeter style. Praise be the festival scene as, although this was one i wanted to try, it would likely have been a good while before I got one.