I'm so glad I haven't splashed out on a whole bottle of this uneventful whisky and tried it in a whisky bar.
NOSE: a touch of menthol, raspberries, dense berry candy nose with a touch of berberis. Reminds me a lot of its younger brother the 12 yo sherried Macallan.
TASTE: some caramel, silky smooth, sweet dried fruits along with some stale dried fruits towards the finish.
FINISH: swift, not a lot to write home about, tea tannins.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: thank god for whisky bars. I would've been really bummed out about buying a whole bottle of this shockingly expensive, under-delivering malt.
@Georgy, my list of preferred sherried malts also include, in the Cask Strength department, Amrut Intermediate Sherry, Kavalan Solist Sherry, Glendronach Cask Strength, and the North American release of Macallan Cask Strength (you'll likely never see nor taste that one, which was a beauty sold for $ 65 in 2011. Clean Sherry). In the more diluted sherry format, I prefer Glenfarclas 15 and Glenmorangie Sonnalta PX, which is pretty rare to find anymore.
There is now a lot of crappy Scottish sherried malt out there, if you can taste and smell sulphur. I am very reluctant to buy a bottle of Scottish wine finished malt anymore without having tasted it first. And tasting a lot of malts either takes a lot of money at bars and restaurants, or a lot of friends with whom one shares samples. I choose the latter route.
As for relying on the advise of others, I do that very very sparingly with sherried whiskies. I don't trust Jim Murray very much, but I do trust him to identify sulphur in a whisky.
@Georgy, in the case of Macallan, I would not call its current continued popularity marketing, I would call it reputation. "Back in the day", which is to say 40+ years ago, Macallan made whisky with beautiful clean sherry. The appetite for Cask Strength was not so popular then as it is now, and Macallan was one of the 6 or 8 Scottish distilleries to make single malt widely available outside of blends. Macallan got a big head start for quality and availability in the larger marketplace. That reputation persists in many quarters, often for lack of comparative experience with other brands. Most of the people who pedestalise Macallan now are not whisky connoisseurs with broad experience, but people who knew the whisky, or the reputation of the whisky, through the years...and, of course "brand ambassadors".
Right now, even when it succeeds in achieving clean sherry, which is rarely any more, the MAC 18 is just ridiculously expensive compared to its competitors. I had a 375 ml bottle of the 1991 MAC 18, which was quite enjoyable, but the sherry was not clean. I liked that bottle, which I considered expensive at $ 65 at the time, but I would not go anywhere near MAC 18 at current prices, which are double that price.