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.
@paddockjudge I absolutely agree with you! Of course, you can't really be too objective when sampling whiskies in bars. However, specialized whisky bars are a good option to get first impressions before buying. The whisky bar where I tasted this one had a very good storage system. No sunlight, temperature control, etc. And there were minimum distractions as well: no load music, very few people around, etc. And the bottle I sampled from was almost 1/3 empty so it had plenty of time to breathe. I also gave it a lot of time with just a drop of water, but it failed to open up in any way. It's got a nice nose, it's got a nice approachable body, but the finish is nowhere to be found. And in terms of what you pay for it - it IS, in my opinion, a rip off. Glenfarclas 15 beats this one any day, if you ask me. Also, I then tasted Auchentoshan Valinch in the same bar and I was very happy with the way it showed itself. A delicious lowland whisky! As for the release, I really don't know what it was exactly, sorry.
@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.