Given the very dark color of the malt (sorry, I took the pic when the bottle was next-to-empty) the nose is as expected -- and great. No off-notes, just deep, fruity, dark goodness, with hints of cloves and allspice. Vanilla ice cream too. I'm excited! The palate... ohhhh yes. Not realizing this was matured in a port cask, my notes read "Excellent sherried specimen," and in retrospect I realize that not recognizing this was port-matured definitely made me experience this "sherry" in a different way (hey, I gotta stay honest here). Deep, dark, dried fruits just roll over you in waves of medium-sweetness, with layers of toffee, vanilla, and restrained spice. Finish continues the theme and is long. Black tea in the tails. Improves the more I drink it. Find all and buy.
[Some of you have asked why some newly-reviewed A or A- whiskies don't pop into the "Latest Must Try" box. This one won't because although it's still out there, it's very difficult to find; plus, it was released 10 years ago.]
Big sherry monster action, bacon fat, very sweet, still chewing on it 30 seconds after the last sip.
Apparently this was matured in a port cask, which is very surprising. It did not have any of the typical notes I usually get from a port matured whisky (and some of which I'm not so fond of). It was very sherried in profile. If it were a European oak port cask, this could support the claims that it is actually the European oak that gives sherry matured whiskies their dark color and distinctive flavor, rather than the sherry soaked into the wood. I suppose we'll never know.