Nose: Clean, focussed sherry with a mix of classic notes to the fore; orangettes, praline, tangerine, bow rosin and a hint of struck-flint smokiness. Develops further on juicy, macerated sultanas and apricot jam glazed walnut cake backed by a faintly suggestion of damp earth. Time draws out a beautiful mix of kirsch and muscavado. A classic, slightly dark sherried profile with enough body and depth.
Taste: Quite bold on dry walnuts, well roasted coffee beans and treacle backed by the dark chocolate and orange rind notes from the nose. A certain slightly green sappiness develops through the mid palate and seems to cut short the development. Quite savoury towards the finish with more toasted nut notes and a faint grassiness.
Feel: Silky, rich and coating at 46%.
Finish: Quite long with touches of toasted oak, ginger, faint sultana and dry earth. Suggestions of green tea and anise flicker through the length.
Comment: High quality, classically sherried malt whisky in all departments. With that said, this latest batch is missing some of the width and gentle sweetness on the palate that I remember from previous bottlings. The 15 year old may remain the best when at its height, but this 18 year old still offers a level of safety for those that fear that “S” word.