Nose: Crushed Crunchy bars - it's honeycomb and chocolate all the way, except for a slight puff of peat smoke.
Taste: Lush delivery with the accent on honey, though the oak ensures bittersweet harmony; a tad oily.
Finish: At first seems oak-riddled and bitter. By the third mouthful the honey has permeated so deeply that balance is restored and also some juicier barley tones radiate impressively until the cocoa arrives to give a virtuoso display.
Balance: At first taste I thought this was all nose with the oak doing damage further down the line. Then, slowly, you realise you are in the company of greatness and your palate has been caressed by genius. Magnificent whisky.
Score: 95 points
[These tasting notes are reproduced from Jim Murray's Whisky Bible 2008]
Nose: Very pronounced sherry influence, with brown sugar prominent and a hint of sulphur. Some almost cognac-esque aromas of baked fruit and oak spice. Cinnamon, chocolate, dried fruit, treacle, rich fruitcake and cocoa also surface as it develops.
Palate: Very smooth & silky. Good weight. Again, almost rancio-esque characters - leathery, dried fruit, apricots and some spice along with the flavours from the nose. Balance is very good.
Finish: Spices, raisins, syrup, honey - impressive concentration of flavour in a lingering finish. Clearly a very fine sherry cask used here.
Comment: Not for people who don't like their heavily-sherried Speysides. A must for those that do.